India warns Pakistan `effective and forceful` response to unprovoked firing along the LoC

Indian troops along the LoC

New Delhi, July 16: India on Thursday warned Pakistan of “effective and forceful” response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism in response to a series of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir over the past two days.

There has been a flurry of conversations involving India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and his Indian counterpart in Islamabad TCA Raghavan since Wednesday morning in order to address the situation which has arisen only days after the Prime Ministers of the two countries had agreed in Russia to resume engagement between the two countries.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday called an urgent meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to review the overall situation in the wake of fresh ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.

The high-level meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Home Ministry in the North Block with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval in attendance.

Sources said Singh has called for the meeting to undertake a complete review of the emerging situation and in the backdrop of hectic developments on the security and diplomatic fronts on the issue in the last two days.

Border Security Force (BSF) Director General D K Pathak also met Doval at his office earlier in the day and briefed him about the ground security situation along the border, they said.

The latest developments come barely a week after Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan met in Russia breaking the deadlock and deciding to re-engage.

The two neighbours, however, were back to a blame game today over ceasefire violations with both sides lodging protests.

While India lodged protests with Pakistan both in New Delhi and in Islamabad, the Pakistan Foreign Office summoned Indian High Commissioner and lodged a strong protest over “air space violation” by an alleged Indian “spy” drone near the Line of Control and “ceasefire violation”.

Along the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani Rangers had indulged in heavy firing and mortar shelling on five border outposts and some villages in Jammu district which left four persons injured, a day after a woman was killed in the ceasefire violations prompting India to lodge protests with Pakistan.

There have been a total of nine ceasefire violations during July. A woman, Poli Devi, was killed and six others, including two BSF jawans, were injured yesterday in firing and mortar shelling in Jammu district by Pakistan Rangers.

The latest round of ceasefire violations come ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Jammu on Friday to attend the centenary celebrations of former state Finance Minister Girdhari Lal Dogra.

Meanwhile, the security forces foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch Sector on Thursday, as a group of four to five unidentified terrorists were spotted by alert troops.

On being challenged by the troops, the terrorists responded with fire and withdrew across the Line of Control. This was immediately followed by unprovoked firing by Pakistan troops in the sector targeting Indian forward posts, which was suitably retaliated.

(With Agency Inputs)

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