Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in J&K’s Poonch

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Pakistani Army once again resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation (CFV) in Balakote and Mendhar sectors of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, by firing mortars and small arms, defence officials said today.

They said at around 6.45 am, Pakistani rangers fired mortars and small arms in a bid to target forward posts of Indian Army at Balakote and Mendhar sectors. “Our troops gave a befitting reply,” a defence official said, adding that “there was no report of any loss to life or property.”

Locals living close to these secotrs in Poonch district said panic gripped the area and people locked themselves and their livestock to stay safe,” a group of residents said.

Today’s CFV comes just three days after three soldiers including an Army major were injured in CVF along the LoC at Surankote area of Rajouri district of which one soldier succumbed later.

Defence sources said that Pakistan started intense shelling post abrogation of Article 370 last year and continues to resort to frequent unprovoked ceasefire violations in both the regions of Kashmir and Jammu since last year post August 5. “Indian Army has been giving a befitting reply to Pakistan every time it violates ceasefire. Our troops are alert across LoC and are keeping a watch on every attempt made by the neighbor, be that ceasefire violation or an infiltration bid,” they said.

As per official records, since January this year, over 1,840 ceasefire violations have taken place in J&K, majority of them in  Poonch, Rajouri, RS Pura, Keran, Tangdhar, Machil and Uri sectors of the Union Territory.

An Army official said that it is the Pakistan’s Army that violates the 2003 Cease Fire pact every time. “We are always giving them a reply. There have been casualties on both sides,” he said, adding that “this year so far, there is a surge in CFV from across the LoC.”

Pertinently, after a long gap of over three decades, the government in the J&K UT has once again started construction of community bunkers in villages close to LoC in J&K.

NVI was the first to break the story about construction of community bunkers in Uri, Tangdhar and Gurez sectors of north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla district. The construction of almost 140 bunkers is in full swing in areas close to LoC.

-CHK