Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that Indian troops have instructions to “shoot limitless bullets to retaliate to a single fire on our territory” from Pakistan. The Minister’s comments came even as ceasefire violations continued to rise with January 2018 witnessing the most number since the 2003 ceasefire agreement.
Speaking at an election rally in Agartala, Mr. Singh said India wanted peaceful relations with Pakistan, but would retaliate aggressively if provoked. “I have given standing orders to our forces to shoot limitless bullets to retaliate,” he said.
"We do not want to attack Pakistan first. We want to live with peace and harmony with our all neighbours. But most unfortunately, Pakistan is trying to tear down Jammu and Kashmir and continue attacks on our forces and Indian territory,” he said.
Breach in Poonch
The Army said on Sunday that Pakistani troops had resorted to ceasefire violation in the Poonch sector along the Line of Control. The Pakistan Army “initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 1100 hours” on Sunday, an Army officer said, adding that “Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively.”
Army sources said 2017 has turned out to be the most violent year along the India-Pakistan border since the two sides entered into a ceasefire agreement in 2003. At least 860 incidents of ceasefire violations have been recorded in the past year.
January 2018 has recorded the highest number of ceasefire violations ever since the 2003 agreement with 150 violations. In contrast, January 2017 saw just eight such instances.
Ceasefire violations have been steadily rising over the past three years. In 2015 there were 387 violations, while in 2016 it was 271. Over the past few months again, violations have been going up, with December 2017 recording 147 instances.