Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's message of amity with India does not seem to have penetrated to the country's army. On Friday Pakistani troops again violated the ceasefire agreement in the RS Pura sector of Jammu & Kashmir, near the official international border with India.
Pakistani troops opened fire on border out posts and forward civilian areas; and Indian troops responded to the ''unprovoked'' firing, said to be the biggest ceasefire violation in almost a decade.
This is 13th ceasefire violation in this week alone. The ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2013 are the highest in the past eight years – and in fact reports say this is the 10th violation in just 72 hours. While reports vary, one even says there have been over 150 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the last two months.
Pakistani soldiers opened fire at Border Security Force (BSF) posts at 25 different locations in the Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir on Friday night. On Friday morning, heavy firing was reported from the RS Pura sector in which two jawans were injured.
The BSF has asked for a flag meeting to lodge a formal protest and is awaiting response from Pakistan.
The latest shootout began around 7:30 pm and continued through the night, has ceased for now after the BSF retaliated with mortar shelling.
Two BSF personnel were injured and one ''infiltrator'' was killed as the Indian Army foiled multiple infiltration bids throughout the night.
Heavy exchange of fire was reported from Kathua, Samba, Hira Nagar, RS Pura and Pargawal sectors. People living in the area near the border say they are considering migrating to safer places as their houses have been damaged in the firing.
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Friday that the union government should take up the issue strongly with Pakistan, and that it would be "extremely difficult to maintain talks on ceasefire if the situation worsens".
Foreign minister Salman Khurshid today said the government will handle the "high priority" matter "with great determination to protect sovereignty and safety of the country".
"We have full confident in our forces. We owe them tremendous gratitude for showing restraint, dedication, determination and total preparedness to face any situation," he said.
An NDTV report cited intelligence sources as saying there are more than 40 training camps across the Line of Control, and 700 militants are ready to infiltrate into India. More ceasefire violations are likely just before winter sets in and snow blocks the passes.
Abdullah wondered why the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last month has failed to stop the spurt in such incidents.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde is scheduled to visit forward areas along the international border next week to review the security situation.