NEW DELHI: In a stern warning to Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said Islamabad should be wary of continuous ceasefire violation and targeting civilian areas along the International Border. Rajnath’s warning came in response to the violation by Pakistani Rangers on Diwali targeting Border Security Force (BSF) posts in Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts.
According to a report submitted to the Home Ministry, the intermittent firing, which started on Wednesday, continued till about 8 pm on Thursday. However the BSF jawans did not retaliate.
Rajnath, who was addressing the 53rd Raising Day function of Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), minced no words and launched a scathing attack on Pakistan for violating the ceasefire on Diwali. He said because of such unprovoked firing by Pakistan, BSF jawans are forced to take appropriate retaliatory measures.
“Pakistan fired on civilians even on the eve of Diwali festival and they did not spare our festival. Pakistan should be wary of this. I want to tell Pakistan to stop this continuous violation of ceasefire,” he said.
Pointing out heavy retaliation by Indian forces last week, the Home Minister cautioned Pakistan that the BSF deployed along the International Border and Army at the Line of Control (LoC) are capable of giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s misadventure. He also accused Pakistan of breaking the fragile peace at the border by indulging in unprovoked firing.
“India never violates the ceasefire. It is a country which believes in peace. In the last two days, it is Pakistan which violated the ceasefire,” Rajnath charged.
In a candid remark on the border dispute with China in the wake of the recent face-off in Chumar and Demchok, the Home Minister admitted that India wants peace but not at the cost of honour. After the fortnight-long standoff in Chumar between India and China during the visit of President Xi Jinping, questions were raised over the NDA government’s policy towards China.
Rajnath tried to clarify saying that the Narendra Modi-led government will ensure India’s territorial integrity. “Our Prime Minister has told the Chinese President that if there is a dispute we should talk,” he said.
“We want peace with honour. Peace cannot come at the cost of honour. Pride is the ultimate accomplishment of a human being, of mine and yours,” Rajnath said adding that India wants to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours, including China and Pakistan, because it believes in the concept of vasudaiva kutumbakam.