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India warns Pak of heavy response if clashes persist

By EMN Updated: Oct 10, 2014 12:58 am



Pakistani forces on Thursday again started targeting civilian areas and BSF positions near the International Border in Jammu and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, an official said.
“Pakistan Rangers are firing with mortars and automatic weapons in R S Pura sector of Jammu and Hirnagar sector of Kathua,” a police officer told IANS, adding that the Pakistan firing started at 7 pm and was still continuing two hours later.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has started “retaliating effectively”, he added.
Most villages along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts have been evacuated since Pakistan Rangers resorted to targeting villages and BSF positions since October 6.
Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shant Manu told IANS eight people have died so far in the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) and the IB in Jammu district.
“Five civilians were killed in Pakistan shelling in Arnia area on Oct 6 while a girl injured in Pakistan Army shelling in Poonch district on the LoC also succumbed to injuries,” he said.
“Two women were killed Wednesday in Pakistan firing on the International Border, taking the toll of people killed during the last four days to eight.”

After India warns, Pak says it can give ‘befitting’ reply
Pakistan reacted, saying it was capable of responding “befittingly” to Indian actions.
“We do not want the situation on the borders of two nuclear neighbours to escalate into confrontation,” Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif said. “India must demonstrate caution and behave with responsibility.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will discuss the situation with his military commanders including the chief of army staff as well as the country’s political leadership at a national security council meeting on Friday.
Analysts say the violence comes at a time when Pakistan’s army is taking a more assertive role in the country’s politics while India has toughened its stance ahead of assembly elections this month.
Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Pakistan PM on national security and foreign affairs, blamed India of repeated ceasefire violations on the LoC and working boundary.
Media channels in Islamabad said three people were killed and 12 others wounded on the Pakistani side of the LoC on Thursday in mortar fire by Indian forces.
Aziz said the Nawaz Sharif government had extended a hand of friendship to India. “However, with abrupt cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks, the Indian side has shunned all our peace overtures,” he said, adding that Pakistan was exercising utmost restraint and responsibility.
Earlier in the day, Defence minister Arun Jaitley warned Pakistan that it would have to pay an “unaffordable” price if it persisted with unprovoked firing along the border, upping the ante amid the most intense fighting between the South Asian rivals in over a decade.
Jaitley said Indian forces were doing a commendable job in the face of acts of aggression by Pakistan and ruled out talks until the firing continued.
This is the first major fighting with Pakistan that the Prime Minister has dealt with since winning the election in May. It comes after weeks of destabilising anti-government protests in Pakistan and just a few days ahead of state assembly elections, for which Modi has been campaigning.

By EMN Updated: Oct 10, 2014 12:58:14 am