Gandhinagar, 21 May-2014(ANI): Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi met Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal at her residence…
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asked about the situation at the border with Pakistan, he said that everything will be fine soon.Meanwhile, launching a counter attack on Congress for criticising the BJP over the issue party President Amit Shah said, “Earlier also there was firing from across the border and now also there is firing from across the border. Earlier, Pakistan used to start and also finish the firing. Now, Pakistan starts the firing but it is the Indian military which finishes it.”
6.36 pm: Fully ready to respond to Pakistan provocation, India to UN
India and Pakistan have sparred at the UN over ceasefire violations along the LoC with India making it clear that its armed forces are “fully ready” to respond to “provocation”.
India also said that the onus of creating a positive environment for normalisation of relations is on Pakistan.
War of words between the two countries over the situation at the Line of Control took place yesterday at the UN General Assembly where India said that it was a “matter of deep regret” that Pakistan violated the ceasefire, in which eight people were killed and several others injured.
“It is a matter of deep regret that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire and their unprovoked firing has led to loss of civilian lives on Indian side…Firing on innocent civilians by Pakistan will only hamper normalisation of relations.
“The onus of creating a positive environment is on Pakistan which is utterly failing to do so,” senior official at the Indian Mission to the UN, Devesh Uttam said yesterday in his right of reply to Pakistan’s remarks.
The Indian official stressed that everyone must be “assured” that India’s armed forces and paramilitary forces are “fully ready and they will respond to provocation”.
The Indian diplomat was responding to comments made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Masood Khan when he raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during the 21st plenary meeting of the General Assembly here yesterday.
Khan said that long-standing festering issues “cannot be swept under the carpet,” reiterating Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UN General Assembly last month that the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be be resolved through negotiations and in accordance with the wishes of its people.
5:00 pm: PM says no question of bending to Pakistan’s tactics, says report
The Prime Minister has reportedly told the National Security Advisor that there’s no question of succumbing to Pakistan’s tactics, and the armed forces and border security forces will continue to have a free hand in dealing with it.
CNN-IBN quotes sources as saying that the PM has said there is no question of engaging in talks with Pakistan while the firing is on.
4:00 pm: Rahul tells Modi: Easy to promise tough stand on Pakistan, but difficult to deliver
And it’s not just in Pakistan, that Prime Minister Modi is coming in for criticism from. Even Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi made the most of the opportunity to criticise the government’s handling of the situation.
“During his campaign he promised a tough stand against Pakistan,” he said, asking what had happened to the promise.
The Congress Vice President noted that Modi had found it easy to make the promises but found it difficult to deliver on them.
But it’s not just Modi facing the heat. Across the border, Imran Khan has been targetting Nawaz Sharif on Twitter:
Shocking how NS, because of personal interests, has failed to condemn unprovoked firing along LoC & Working Boundary killing 6 innocent ppl.
3:00 pm: Pakistani media channels being gagged?
Times Now is quoting sources as saying that the Pakistani media has been muzzled from showing the damage inflicted due to Indian troops retaliating fire along the India-Pakistan border.
The reason? The channel says that the government has apparently been rattled by the response of the Indian troops and is therefore preferring that the damage not be shown.
2.41 pm: #CowardModi trend on Twitter in Pakistan
“#India exclusively presents first premier of the world summoned for killings & murders in #US that’s #CowardModi ONLY good at ruining #Peace,” tweeted @RJSadiaSattar. Some of the other tweets also criticised the Indian army, claiming troops were responsible for the violence in the valley.
“#ShameOnIndianArmy they have used rape and molestation as a weapon to humiliate the locals #FreeKashmirFromIndia #CowardModi,” tweeted @Mariam_Jamali.
1.52 pm: Bilawal Bhutto likens India to Israel, brings up Gujarat riots
Pakistan’s new kid on the block Bilawal Bhutto, who has already generated mass outrage by saying that every inch of Kashmir belongs to Pakistan, has in a new tweet attacked both the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for LoC violations that he says are perpetrated by Modi.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari @BBhuttoZardari
Another attack on LOC. seems India adopting Israle model vs Pakistan.Modi must realize we can retaliate unlike his victims from Gujarat.
In an obvious reference to the Gujarat riots, Bhutto also told Modi that Pakistan unlike his ‘victims’ were capable of retaliation.
The Pakistan government has been consistently saying that the Indian government is engaging in ‘unprovoked’ firing along the Line of Control.
In a statement the Pakistan Foreign Minister said,
“For seven days now, the Indian security forces have been firing and shelling across the Line of Control and Working Boundary. Yesterday was Eid day but the Indian forces, in complete disregard of the festive event, carried on the fire and put four innocent lives to death. The Eid day when Muslims celebrate the spirit of sacrifice, the Indian forces played havoc with the lives of four families whose dear ones embraced Shahadat. It is sad that the Indian government has not been able to restrain its forces despite strong diplomatic protest by Pakistan. We call upon Indian government to immediately cease fire and shelling and help us preserve tranquility.”
12.30 pm: MHA calls for high level meet as fresh firing kills two
The MHA has reportedly called for a high level meet as violence along the LoC showed every sign of escalating.
The home secretary, IB chief, BSF representatives and Border Management representatives are reportedly due to attend.
The MHA has already determined that there will be no flag meet with Pakistan, until a cessation of firing along the border, and is reportedly waiting for Pakistan to make the first move.
“There is no question of a flag meet with Pakistan”, Army Chief General Suhag said in comments to the media.
India’s response to the ceasefire violations is reportedly being monitored at the highest level with the NSA Ajit Doval seeking hourly reports from the ground. Even Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who was recently discharged from AIIMS, is monitoring the situation along the border.
“If we hit them hard, they will come to the negotiating table themselves. We are not going to sit back and suffer for the sake of talks,” a BSF official told The Times of India.
Pakistan for its part, has blamed India for the violations.
“The government of Nawaz Sharif has been exercising utmost restraint and responsibility. We call upon the Indian government to immediately cease fire and shelling. It is sad that the Indian government has not been able to restrain its forces despite strong diplomatic protest by Pakistan,” Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Pakistan Prime Minister, said.
12.15 pm: Pakistan UN envoy asks Indian govt to observe ceasefire
According to Times Now reports, the Pakistan envoy in UN has called upon the Indian government to observe the ceasefire along the Line of Control.
Pakistan has already registered a protest with the Un monitoring mission, saying that India has been resorting to unprovoked attacks.
However the UN had reportedly told Pakistan that the issue needed to be resolved diplomatically.
11.42 am: Two people dead in fresh firing in Samba
Two people have been killed in fresh firing in Samba, marking the first time that casualties have been recorded in this region.
This takes the death toll since an escalation of violence began, to seven.
The BSF is reportedly retaliating strongly, and the DG BSF, asked people to stay inside their homes.
India has been told not to seek any flag meeting as of yet, reports said. CNN-IBN said that the government is waiting for Pakistan to make the first move.
11.30 am: Firing still on in seven sectors along international border
Fresh firing is on in seven sectors along the LoC, according to fresh reports coming in from the area.
CNN-IBN reported that firing was on in a number of areas including Hiranagar, Samba and Arula.
Further updates were not immediately available.
11.05 am: Pakistan is Shaitanistan says BJP as fresh firing kills 1
Even as India vows not to back down until Pakistan stops firing along the Line of Control, BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Pakistan had become ‘Shaitanistan’ in escalating border tensions.
His comments come in the wake of news that fresh Pakistani firing had killed one woman and injured another six in Samba.
Meanwhile MoS PMO Jitendra Singh has visited affected border areas to take stock of the situation.
10.59 am: Air Chief expresses concern over deteriorating border situation
Air chief Arup Raha has said that India is looking for a quick resolution to the situation with Pakistan, where escalated firing has killed a number of civilians.
“This is a serious issue, the government is taking it seriously,we want a quick resolution”, he said in comments to the media.
9.45 am: Indian forces asked to retaliate, reject talks with Pakistan
Indian forces have been asked to retaliate heavily to firing from Pakistan and reject talks until all firing stops at the border in Jammu and Kashmir, NDTV reported, quoting top government sources.
Indian forces have already begun firing in response to repeated Pakistan attack on BSF border outposts.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times,
India unleashed “massive retaliation” on Tuesday all along the 200-kilometre long International Border. The Indian attack targeted 37 Pakistani border posts, resulting in around 15 deaths, more than 30 injured and serious damage to outposts manned by the Pakistani Rangers, intelligence sources told HT.
“While India has no intention of escalating the situation on the Jammu border, there is no question that the Pakistanis will be allowed to go without punishment,” said a senior South Block official quoted in the HT report.
According to an Indian Express report, BSF officers also said they would not hold any flag meetings with Pakistan to lower tensions. This is an unusual move because India has held flag meetings with Pakistan every time the ceasefire was violated in the past.
BSF DG DK Pathak told the Express, “This time we are not going to speak to Pakistan nor ask them for a flag meeting. During the last flag meeting on August 24, it was decided by both sides to maintain peace along the border. They started (shelling) again after 35 days, and that too on Dussehra. We have decided to be aggressive and will retaliate effectively.”
9.30 am: Fresh firing in Samba sector kills 1, injures 6
Fresh firing in the Samba sector this morning has killed one person and injured 6 in the Chilyari village of the Samba sector.
Tensions showed no signs of easing, with firing continuing this morning, after a massive Pakistan attack which targeted 60 Border Out Posts and 25 border hamlets with heavy mortar shells in Jammu sector and LoC areas in Poonch district, leaving 12 people including a BSF jawan and a Jt Commanding Officer injured.
Pakistan’s night-long mortar-bomb attacks and rattle of heavy guns have sent thousands of residents in border villages scurrying for cover. They fled their mud-houses on buses, tractor-trollies and bullock-carts to safer places in Jammu leaving behind deserted hamlets.
Military officials of India and Pakistan reportedly discussed the cross-border firing over the hotline but there were no signs of a solution.
Meanwhile the air chief Arup Raha reportedly expressed his concern at the ‘deteriorating situation’ along the international border with Pakistan.
8.30 am: Pakistan targets 60 border outposts
In escalating ceasefire violations that continued on Tuesday night, Pakistani troops targeted over 60 Border Out Posts and 25 border hamlets with heavy mortar shells in Jammu sector and LoC areas in Poonch district, leaving 12 people including a BSF jawan and a Jt Commanding Officer injured.
A woman was killed and 11 persons were injured in the incident.
Extending the ceasefire violations to new areas, Pakistan Rangers shelled border outposts (BoPs) and villages in Samba and Kathua along with Jammu during the night and the firing was continuing till this morning.
A woman was killed in the shelling in Jaladi village in Samba while 11 people, including three BSF personnel, were injured, a BSF spokespersons said today.
So far seven persons have been killed and nearly 70 injured in the escalation since October 1 with over 16,000 people migrating to safer areas in these districts.
“Pakistani Rangers again resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and heavy firing on BSF posts all along International Border (IB) since 2000 hours last night,” the spokesman said.
“As many as 50 BSF BoPs were affected by the fire from Pakistan side,” he said, adding that firing and shelling targeted areas along IB in Arnia, R S Pura, Kanachak and Pargwal sub-sectors along IB in Jammu and Samba districts.
The three service chiefs met Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi and are understood to have discussed the prevailing security situation on the border.
Pakistani and Indian troops along the International Border(IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in J and K exchanged heavy fire on Tuesday night in which a Junior Commissioned Officer(JCO) and two other armymen were injured.
According to a senior Army official, shelling carried out by Pakistan along the LoC in the Sabjian area of Poonch district left one JCO and two armymen injured. The injured have been hospitalised, the official added.
Fresh firing from the Pakistani side was also reported in Kathua district along the IB apart besides in Jammu and Rajouri districts, police and BSF sources said.
BSF and Army troops are retaliating to the firing, the sources said.
“There was fresh ceasefire violations by Pakistan at Banwat and Hamirpur along LoC in Poonch. The firing started at 1620 hours with Small Arms and Mortars”, Defence Spokesman Lt Col Maneesh Mehta said.
“Own forces responded effectively and appropriately. No casualty till last report came in,” he added.
In another ceasefire violation earlier, Defence Spokesman Lt Col Maneesh Mehta said Pakistani troops opened fire with small arms in Balnoie forward belt along LoC in Poonch
district around 1420 hours.