In major escalation in border skirmishes, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire for the third time in 21 hours along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, forcing Army to retaliate.
“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked small arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along LoC in Hamirpur sector of Poonch district around 1730 to 1810 hours today,” Defence PRO Lt Col Manish Mehta said on Thursday.
Army troops retaliated with equal calibre weapons, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injuries to anyone in the firing.
Pakistani troops also fired mortar shells in the forward posts and civilians areas, as per the reports. This was the eighth ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in the past six days and ninth in the month of August.
A defence spokesman said sweets were exchanged at the Chakan-da-Bagh and Hot-spring Mendhar crossing points on Thursday by the troops of both sides on the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day.
“The exchange of sweets is an appreciated gesture from both the countries and is expected to go a long way in promoting harmony and bonhomie along the Line of Control,” the defence spokesman added.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Pakistani troops also resorted to firing in Balakote forward belt in Mendhar sector of Poonch. There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing, the PRO said.
On Thursday, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked small arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along LoC in Hamirpur sector of Poonch.
On August 13, Pakistani troops fired with small arms and automatic weapons on forward posts along LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Poonch, injuring one jawan.
On August 12, Pakistani rangers resorted to heavy firing with mortar shells, small arms and automatic weapons on five BoPs and civilian areas along the IB in Arnia-R S Pura areas of Jammu. On August 11, two BSF jawans were among four persons injured when Pakistani troops fired with small arms, automatic weapons and mortar shells on 10 border out posts and civilian areas along the IB in Arnia and RS Pura belts of Jammu.
On August 10, Pakistani troops targeted Indian forward posts with small arms and automatic weapons along the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch, prompting our forces to retaliate.
On August 8, Pakistani troops resorted to firing on Indian posts along LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Poonch.
BSF and Pakistan Rangers had on Friday made a commitment to uphold peace and tranquility on the border and extend all cooperation to each other in dealing with emergent incidents in a proactive and positive manner.
However, the ceasefire violations have continued. Security officials feel the firing and shelling in LoC and IB areas in Poonch and Jammu sectors is done to infiltrate armed militants into the state to target Independence Day programmes.
With inputs from PTI
Image: Indian Army soldiers stand guard along the LoC