NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Army has violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement 19 times since the Narendra Modi Government took oath on May 26.
But Indian troopers retaliated appropriately and New Delhi did not bow before Islamabad, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Jatiley was responding to Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comment that the Modi Government had “bowed” before Pakistan every time there was a ceasefire violation and that Modi had termed the previous UPA Government “weak” whenever there was a ceasefire violation along the border with Pakistan.
“Our head has not bowed. This government will not let our heads bow,” Jaitley said replying to questions in the Upper House.
The minister said there have been 54 ceasefire violations along the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) and 198-km International Border in Jammu and Kashmir from January 1 to July 16 this year, of which 19 took place between May 26 and July 16.
In 2013, a total of 347 ceasefire violations were reported in Jammu and Kashmir, including 199 along the LoC.
“All ceasefire violations were taken up with the authorities concerned of Pakistan at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines and flag meetings,” he said.
Jaitley recalled that during the first meeting the Prime Minister had with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi on May 27, the Indian leader had underlined the importance of border ceasefire.
Sharif was in the national capital at the invitation of Modi to attend the new government’s swearing-in ceremony on May 26.
“Our Prime Minister further emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility along the border and upholding the sanctity of the LoC,” Jaitley said.