India warns of ‘forceful’ response to unprovoked Pakistan firing

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday.  

India on Thursday warned Pakistan of “effective and forceful” response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism.

India’s blunt message followed a series of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan, which resorted to mortar shelling of Indian areas over the past two days. India responded in kind and both sides said they had suffered casualties.

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 T.C.A. Raghavan since Wednesday morning in order to address the situation that has arisen only days after the Prime Ministers of the two countries had agreed in Russia to resume engagement between the two countries.

Mr. Jaishankar was addressing reporters after a high-level meeting called by Home Minister Rajnath Singh with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to review the situation on the border. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Doval and the Foreign Secretary.

Asserting that India remained committed to steps that contribute to ensuring peace and tranquillity on the border, Mr. Jaishankar said, “However, there should be no doubt that any unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side would meet with an effective and forceful response from our forces. Nor we will let down our guard against infiltration and cross-border terrorism.”

Asked if India will go ahead with its engagement as was decided in Ufa, Russia, he said, “I think my statement made it very clear. If the intention or the inclination is to strengthen peace and tranquillity on the border and do the meetings that we have agreed to do, we remain committed to that.

“If on the other hand there is unprovoked firing and there is infiltration and cross-border terrorism then, obviously the situation is different. So, that choice is not ours.”

Observing that nature of unprovoked firing by Pakistan was “serious”, the Foreign Secretary said, therefore, there were series of consultations between the officials of the two sides. “The National Security Advisor spoke to the Pakistan envoy twice yesterday and once today. I also spoke to Basit on the border situation,” he said.

Accusing Pakistan of “shifting the blame to India” for the ceasefire violations, he said there was no response from Pakistan to address the situation.

India’s response came amid a blame game between the two countries over shooting down of >an alleged spy drone and >ceasefire violations at the LoC in which one Indian woman and nearly 10 others were injured in Akhnoor sector of Jammu.

Pakistan has claimed that four of their nationals have been killed in ceasefire violations by India.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 4:51:45 PM |

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