Pak forces shell Poonch, violate LoC ceasefire

Attack on eve of 9th anniversary of agreement to stop hostilities

On the eve of ninth anniversary of the Indo-Pak ceasefire, Pakistani troops fired heavily on 10 Indian forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector of Jammu division late Sunday night.

“Violating the ceasefire, Pakistan troops opened heavy fire with machine guns in Krishnagati sub-sector,” PRO, Defence, Col S N Acharya, told Deccan Herald.
Terming it an “unprovoked act” he said: “The firing started at 7.40 pm and lasted till 11.45 pm during which Pakistani troops fired at least 6000 rounds on Indian posts.

“It was the heaviest firing by Pakistani troops on Indian posts this year. Our troops returned the fire. However, there was no report of loss of life or damage to property in the firing.”

Asked whether the firing was an attempt by Pakistan Army to push infiltrates into this side of LoC like the past, Col Acharya declined to comment. “I can’t comment on what their intention was,” he said.

However, the PRO Defence said due to the Pakistani firing, forest fire along LoC was triggered which the army controlled with the support of local people on Monday morning.
The Directors-General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan on November 25, 2003, agreed to observe a ceasefire along the International Border, LoC and Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir.

Numerous violations

The ceasefire came into force on November 26, 2003 and since then the agreement stands. However, Pakistan Army has several times violated the truce, firing on Indian positions without any provocation.

On October 16 this year, three civilians were killed after Pakistani troops opened fire in a ceasefire violation at Charunda village in Uri sector along the LoC in Kashmir.

On November 20, Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire again by firing in Gulpur forward area along LoC in Poonch sector.

Similarly on October 17, Pakistani troops had also fired on forward border belts of Goutrian and Mankote in Poonch sector.

The Army maintained that 42 terror camps continue to operate in Pakistan and Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and has warned that 500-600 militants were waiting to infiltrate from across the LoC.

“Pakistani troops fire at forward Indian posts with an aim to create confusion and push infiltrators from other areas. This has become a routine over the last few months,” a senior Army officer, requesting anonymity, told Deccan Herald.

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