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Will speak in language India understands: Khawaja Asif

Amid a war of words between India and Pakistan over cross-border firing, Pakistan's Defence Minister has alleged that India wants to keep his country busy in a 'low-intensity war'.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2015 20:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Amid a war of words between India and Pakistan over cross-border firing, Pakistan's Defence Minister has alleged that India wants to keep his country busy in a "low-intensity war".

"India wants to keep us busy in a low-intensity war or low-intensity engagement on our eastern border. They are pursuing the same tactics of keeping our forces busy on all fronts...," Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters outside the Parliament Saturday.

Asif also appeared to threaten India with retaliation over the killing of Pakistani soldiers in cross-border firing, saying the country will now "communicate in the language they understand".

"In the past six-seven months, we have tried to better our ties with India so that peace can prevail. But it seems that they do not understand this language," Asif said.

"I believe, we will now communicate with India in the language they understand," he said.

Asif's remarks came after four Pakistani rangers were killed in BSF's strong retaliation after a jawan of the force lost his life in heavy firing from the other side on a patrol on December 31 along the International Border in Jammu and
Kashmir's Samba district.

"Day before yesterday's incident has been taken up at every level from the army's side. The issue was taken up at the very location of firing, then we established contact from one post to the other," Asif said.

"After that we took up the issue at the level of rangers and BSF, than at the DGMO level, we also explored the diplomatic channel. We have taken up the issue at every possible level," he said.

India denies Pak allegations

Meanwhile India has dismissed allegations made by Islamabad about the killing of two Pakistani Rangers in the BSF firing on the International Border in the Jammu.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, dismissing contentions made by him in his letter of 2nd January 2015 to her.

Swaraj stated that the incidents on December 31 in Jammu sector commenced when routine BSF patrol, flying an identifying flag came under sniper fire from a Pakistan border post, which resulted in death of one Indian security personnel and serious injuries to another.

She asked Islamabad to adhere to mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the International Border and Line of Control.

Frightened villagers stay away

The Jammu and Kashmir border was quiet Sunday, a day after Pakistani shelling killed two Indian soldiers and a civilian and forced hundreds to flee their homes along the frontier.

Although no firing or shelling was reported Sunday, frightened villagers chose to stay away in makeshift camps in Samba and Kathua districts where they have been sheltered, an official said.

"Since yesterday evening there has been no ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops on the international border in the two districts," a senior official told IANS.

Around 1,400 villagers who fled their homes Saturday due to indiscriminate shelling by Pakistan Rangers were still camped at safer places away from their homes, the official added.

They were in camps at Hiranagar, Chan Kahtriyan and Maren in Kathua district and at Regaal and Chichi Mata in Samba district.

Two soldiers and a woman were killed and 10 injured Saturday in two incidents of Pakistan shelling and firing on the international border and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: Jan 04, 2015 17:02 IST