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Ceasefire violation by Pakistan cause of serious concern: Antony

Gurgaon, Jan.11 (ANI): Expressing grave concern over the ceasefire violation and firing from the Pakistani side, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Friday assured that enough troops have been deployed at the Line of Control (LoC) and the government is taking all steps to protect the nation’s interests.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions. But, this kind of occasional ceasefire violation and firing is a cause of serious concern to us, because even though the violence level inside Kashmir has come down, the attempt to infiltrate is increasing, and also ceasefire violations are increasing. This is a matter of concern to us,” Antony told the media here.

“And, the tragic provocative action a few days back, that was a turning point at the moment. I can tell you one thing only, we are closely monitoring the whole developments. We are closely monitoring our entire border. Our people are on alert,” he added.

Antony said the Indian Army’s Director General Military Operations (DGMO) has been directed to be in touch with his Pakistani counterpart.

“At the same time, we have directed the DGMO to be in touch with his counterpart. Let us see the result of their talks. The government is now closely monitoring. We are taking it seriously. All of us (the government) are closely monitoring and we will take every step to protect our interests and our soldiers,” he said.

When asked whether he saw any need for increasing troops in Jammu and Kashmir or any need for deployment and redeployment, Antony said: “There are enough troops there. And our jawans and officers are capable and they are determined to face any situation. So, everything is enough there.”

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, on his part, reiterated the Defence Minister’s comment, and said the ceasefire violation is a cause of serious concern.

“You heard the ‘Raksha Mantri’. It is a matter of concern and we are looking at it in all aspects,” said Air Chief Marshal Browne.

“The whole situation is being monitored very closely and as the ‘Raksha Mantri’ just mentioned to you that security issues are being looked at very closely in the valley,” he added.

The Defence Minister’s reaction comes hours after Pakistan violated the ceasefire across the LoC again and opened indiscriminate fire on Indian posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch District.

The violation took place two days after the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops in the Mendhar Sector of Poonch district.

The tension between the two Asian neighbours has aggravated after the brutal killing and beheading of the two Indian soldiers.

Pakistan has denied India’s claim that its troops crossed the Line of Control to ambush a patrol party in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir, was earlier on Wednesday summoned to the office of the Ministry of External Affairs.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said that Pakistan’s High Commissioner has been told in very strong terms that the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops is ‘unacceptable’, and added that it will have an adverse impact if it is not immediately contained.

In a major escalation to the ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts, a group of Pakistan Army soldiers raided across the Line of Control in Mendhar sector and killed two Indian soldiers and injured one more. The Pakistani troops attacked an area domination patrol party of the Indian Army.

Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh were the two Indian soldiers killed brutally by the Pakistani troops. (ANI)