February 2018
5:15 PM IST
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India can strike across the borders: Rajnath
(Lucknow, Jan 21, 2018):Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday warned Pakistan that India can kill its enemies not only within its borders but also across, even as violence along the Jammu and Kashmir border continued to climb. Holding Pakistan responsible for the poor bilateral relations, Mr. Singh told a public gathering in Lucknow, “We want to maintain good relations with our neighbour but they don’t stop doing mischief. We have given a strong message to the world that India can kill its enemies not only on this side, but on that side of the border as well.”

Retaliatory action

His comments came days after Indian troops carried out retaliatory action against Pakistani troops, in which seven of their soldiers were killed and four injured in Poonch. Mr. Singh saif that a few months ago, Pakistan attacked and martyred 17 Indian jawans.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi consulted all of us on this serious issue, and the Indian Army entered the Pakistani area and killed the militants,” the Home Minister said.

Meanwhile, concern is rising across the security establishment over the worsening situation along the Indo-Pakistan border, where casualties from cross-border firing have now climbed beyond all recent trends.

“There seems to be no strategy at all. The situation is getting out of hand, ceasefire is as good as it is over,” a former intelligence agency chief said, as yet another soldier was killed along the border.

The Army said Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai was grievously injured in Mendhar sector along the Line of Control on Saturday, and he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. It said Pakistani Army initiated “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of mortars, small arms and automatics” from 4.20 p.m. on Saturday.

The Pakistan Foreign Office meanwhile summoned Indian deputy high commissioner J.P. Singh to Islamabad and condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian troops.

It said 18 Indian posts resorted to “unprovoked firing with mortars and heavy weapons”, resulting in the death of two civilians on its side, and injury to a few others.

“The repeated ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” Pakistan warned.

Worsening situation

The situation along the border continued to be volatile for the fourth day on Sunday, with 11 people dead and at least 15 people including two security personnel injured in Pakistani firing in January. In 2017, the region saw 12 deaths.

Over 20,000 people living in border villages have been shifted to safer localities because of the continuing firing along the border. Nearly 500 schools within five kilometres of the border in Jammu region have also been shut down for the next three days.

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