Heaviest Cross-border Firing By Pak Since '71 War: BSF DG

26 August 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

RS Pora: Describing the present 45-day-old flare-up on the international border in Jammu as the heaviest cross-border firing by Pakistan since the 1971 War, BSF Director General DK Pathak today said that though India wanted peace with Pakistan, it would not remain a mute spectator to any provocation on its borders. We would retaliate 'very effectively and appropriately' to every provocation by our adversary, he asserted. On a visit to forward areas in RS Pura sector today, Pathak, in an impromptu media interaction here, said, 'We will not initiate first fire, but would retaliate strongly, if they (Pakistan Rangers) fire at us.' Pathak also said that the Rangers didn't respond to BSF's request to de-escalate the tension. 'Ever since they started shelling our posts and civilians areas, the BSF made 16 attempts. After every truce violation, we have been lodging a protest with them. On three to four occasions, we also tried to hold flag meets, but they didn't turn up. They are not responding positively,' said the DG. Pakistan has been firing heavily at us for the past 45 days. To be more precise, since the first incident of sniping by them in the Arnia area on July 16 when we lost a boy. Thereafter, there was a lull for quite some time and then, they again resorted to heavy fire, he said. The BSF chief said that Pakistan has now started targeting civilian areas, shelling innocent people with long-range weapons. 'Though we are not targeting their civilian areas, let me be very candid in saying that we are giving very effective and appropriate retaliation to whatever fire is coming at us. Our response is either equal or more, but definitely not less,' he said.