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Pakistan firing leaves BJP in tight spot

Shekhar Iyer, DH News Service, New Delhi, Feb 6 2018, 8:26 IST
Nine soldiers have died since January. Above: PM Modi. PTI file photo.

Nine soldiers have died since January. Above: PM Modi. PTI file photo.

A day after four army personnel, including a captain, were martyred in shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP faced heat within its ranks as well as outside.

In a sharp attack on the Modi government's handling of border firing, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Rajya Sabha: "You have often criticised us (the UPA government) in strong terms, but compared to the situation now, our government was much much better (in handling the situation). The most number of soldiers have been killed under this government, without a war. I had visited Jammu a few days ago, the situation of the people there is very sad to see."

Outside Parliament, an angry BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, "Right from the beginning, I am saying gear up for war and break Pakistan into four pieces. Pakistan has now crossed the limit."

Many noted that there have been 240 incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border in a little over a month this year, which is more than the violations in all of 2015 and 2016 at 152 and 228, respectively. Pakistani forces had violated ceasefire 860 times in 2017. Nine soldiers have died since January.

Reacting to heavy shelling by Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "People of the country have full faith in the valour of the Indian Army." Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir also condemned Sunday's ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri and Poonch districts, saying that it shall "cost Pakistan dearly".

'Proper reply'

Union Minister Giriraj Singh also targeted Pakistan for the ceasefire violations, saying, "have faith in the Indian Army. When the right time comes they shall give a proper reply to them".

A day earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said, "I have given standing orders to our forces to shoot limitless bullets to retaliate a single fire on our territory by the Pakistani forces."

"We want to live with peace and harmony with our all neighbours. But, unfortunately, Pakistan is trying to tear down Jammu and Kashmir and continue to attack our forces and the Indian territory," he said.

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