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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Pakistan opens fire again, will get no flag meeting

Tarun Upadhyay, Hindustan Times  Jammu, August 18, 2014
First Published: 22:07 IST(18/8/2014) | Last Updated: 22:12 IST(18/8/2014)

Pakistan has again opened fire along the international border in this district, targeting forward posts of the Border Security Force and injuring a villager.

Taking a stand, India has decided not to hold any flag meeting and respond in a tough manner.

The BSF officials say the firing might be aimed at scuttling the proposed foreign-secretary-level talks that India is forced to call off eventually. “On Sunday night, Pakistani mortar shelling into Arnia and RS Pura sectors, 30 kilometres from Jammu, injured Attar Singh of Treva village,” said the BSF public relation officer (PRO).

“Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing upon 12 BSF pickets in RS Pura. We retaliated in a calibrated manner,” said BSF inspector general (Jammu Frontier) Rakesh Kumar Sharma.

Pakistan has been firing along this sector throughout this month and the Pakistani media report that the retaliatory fire has caused it much damage. “We will not send a request for flag meeting to defuse the tension.

Now, they will have it from us. Pakistan has undermined the seriousness of the flag meeting, where it had denied it actions repeatedly,” said a senior official in the BSF.

The decision is taken since Pakistan Rangers didn’t respond to repeated calls from the sector-commander level for meeting. “On receiving the call, the Pakistani junior ranger replied that the message would be delivered to official concerned; but didn’t call back. The firing has intensified since July 16 after India responded heavily. In spite of our repeated requests to not target civilians, they continued to do so. It seems a planned strategy to scuttle the talks,” said the official.

After being silent for two days, Pakistan on Saturday fired across this border and in the Balakote Sector along the Line-of-Control (LoC). On Aug 11, two BSF personnel were injured in firing in the Arina sector, the area Pakistan has targeted regularly.

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