Our Bureau
10:30 AM, November 30, 2016
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Indian Army personnel take positions at the site of encounter after Pakistani ceasefire violation

India reported 430 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the last one year along the Line of Control (LC) and International Border (IB) between the two countries.

There were 216 Ceasefire Violations along Line of Control (LC) and International Border (IB) under operational control of Army and 214 Ceasefire Violations along IB under operational control of BSF in the past year, as per information given to the upper house of the Indian parliament.

During the cease fire violations by Pakistan eight Indian Army soldiers got martyred and 74 were injured. Further, in 2016 (till 7.11.2016) 111 houses / structures got damaged. There is no permanent dislocation of the people residing close to IB/LoC. However, in 2016, 27,449 persons were evacuated from their villages in Jammu division after the surgical strike in PoK, Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre said in the upper house of the parliament Tuesday.

All violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan military authority at appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between DGMOs of India & Pakistan, Bhamre said.

Diplomatically, India has repeatedly emphasised, including at the highest level, the need for Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control (LC) and the International Border in Jammu & Kashmir as its obligations emanating from the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.

Mechanism has been instituted at Border Out Post (BOPs) and border areas to expeditiously inform the villagers on occurrence of cross-border firing. Bullet Proof bunkers and ambulances are kept in readiness at convenient locations for evacuation of persons in case of emergency.

Meanwhile, media reports said the Pakistan foreign office claims India committed 222 ceasefire violations out of which 184 have been on the LoC and 38 on the IB this year.

Pakistani Foreign Office (FO) summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner for the sixth time in over two weeks to protest against the ceasefire violations it claimed Indian troops were committing on the Line of Control, Hindustan Times reported November 9, 2016.

The FO said the violation by India resulted in the death of four civilians, including a woman and a 10-year-old girl, besides injuries to seven others.

The director general (South Asia & SAARC), Mohammad Faisal, also urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians, and maintain peace on the LoC.

India has started constructing underground bunkers along its frontier with Pakistan in Kashmir in the past two weeks, amid growing fears the nuclear-armed rivals are preparing for a major escalation in conflict, troops on the Indian side were quoted as saying by Telegraph in October this year.

Work on the bunkers began after a deadly militant attack on India’s Uri army base in north Kashmir on September 18, which killed 19 soldiers and provoked massive public anger in India.

People in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir's Neelum Valley say the attacks come once or twice a week, and they never know when they might have to dive for cover.

According to a report by AFP in Pakistan, people are spending about 300,000 to 500,000 Pakistani rupees ($3000) to construct underground bunkers.

The 2003 ceasefire were shattered in September, after India blamed Pakistani militants for a raid on an army base that killed 19 soldiers.

India said it had responded by carrying out "surgical strikes" across the heavily militarized border, sparking a furious reaction from Islamabad, which denied the strikes, took place.

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