'Frustrated Pakistan violated ceasefire three times after flag meeting'

Akhnoor, Jan. 15 (ANI): General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command, Lieutenant General KT Parnaik, on Tuesday said there has been three ceasefire violations since the flag meeting, and added that Pakistan is frustrated as infiltration has come down along the Line of Control (LoC).

A flag meeting was held at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch on January 14 and was attended by Brigadier level officers from India and Pakistan. The Indian Army raised a strong protest against the heinous mutilation of their deceased soldiers bodies, pointing out that it was against the tenets of the Geneva Convention as also in contravention to all established norms of soldierly behaviour.

"There have been three ceasefire violations since the flag meet. The firing was on during the Army Chief's address," he said.

Lieutenant General Patnaik said Pakistan is continuously provoking the Indian side to trigger a crisis along the Line of Control (LoC).

"Pakistan has been resorting to violence. In 2011, there were more than 100 ceasefire violations as compared to 52 in the last year. Pakistan is frustrated, as infiltration is not taking place. Our troops are exercising great restraint," said Lt. Gen. Parnaik.

"Pakistan has continuously tried to infiltrate from a nallah at Uri. We have restricted that to a large extent and that's what frustrates them," he added.

Lt. Gen. Parnaik said India will continue to retaliate whenever provoked.

"Pakistan is provoking us so that the LoC becomes hot and active. Our troops exercise great restraint. Whenever we are provoked we have retaliated and we will continue to do so," he said.

Lt. Gen. Parnaik termed the gruesome killing of the two Indian soldiers as barbaric and an unpardonable offence.

"On January 8, Pakistan breached the LoC on Mendhar sector, in a very barbaric act and mutilated our soldiers. It violates the Geneva Convention and violates the ceasefire agreement. My heart goes out to the families of these two soldiers," he said.

"We are proud of our soldiers who made supreme sacrifice on January 8 while defending the border posts at Poonch and the Mendhar sector in Jammu and Kashmir. I want to assure everyone on behalf of the Army that their sacrifices will not go in vain," he added.

Lt. Gen. Parnaik said that the Indian Army is alert and fully prepared to meet any act of provocation from the Pakistan side.

Admitting that the situation along the LoC is tense after the soldiers' killing, he, however, said that it was under control.

Lt. Gen. Parnaik also rejected the Pakistani allegations that the Indian Army raided its posts across the LoC and provoked its forces to retaliate leading to the killing of the two Indian soldiers.

The Northern Army Commander further said Pakistan is as arrogant as ever and has always been in denial mode.

"The Pakistani Brigadier read out a prepared script at the flag meeting and denied all," he said.

"We protested in the flag meeting yesterday and demanded the head of our soldier to be given back," he added.

India yesterday lodged a strong protest against the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and made it clear to it that the Army reserves the right to retaliate if provoked.

Tension between the two Asian neighbours has escalated ever since Indian jawan Lance Naik Hemraj Singh was beheaded in an attack by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control on January 8.

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. (ANI)