Pak violates ceasefire, India says peace must for talks

Pak violates ceasefire, India says peace must for talks

Pakistan troops on Friday violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir with heavy firing and mortar shelling, prompting India to remind it that maintenance of peace on border is a ''pre-condition'' for normalisation of relations.

The provocative action by Pakistan, to which Indian troops retaliated effectively, came a day ahead of the visit of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to the state for the first time after taking over.

In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation.

“Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his first visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website twitter.

Pakistan troops fired 81-mm mortar shells and directed automatic and small-arms fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar-BhimberGali-Keri forward areas of Poonch district around 0730 hours on Friday, said a senior Army officer.

No casualty

No casualty or damage has been reported on this side of the LoC due to the firing, he said.

Indian troops guarding the border effectively replied with similar calibre weapons, he said, adding that the “exchanges occurred in three forward areas”.

Omar said that the ceasefire violations in the Rajouri and Poonch areas were significant as some shells had landed in civilian areas.

“Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss,” he further tweeted.

The firing comes a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.

Between end of April and mid-May, 19 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported along the LoC here.

In 2013, 12 jawans were killed and 41 injured in 149 ceasefire violations and firing incidents by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border.

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