Talking tough on Monday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Pakistan’s repeated ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts along the Line of Control, should prompt the leadership in Islamabad to realise that their occupation of Indian territory is ‘historically wrong’.
“It would serve the leadership of Pakistan also to realise that there are certain historical wrongs which have been committed and one of those historical wrongs is the occupation of Indian territory by Pakistan,” Tewari said.
“There is a unanimous resolution of the Indian Parliament of 1994, which says all these territories must be returned to India. So, therefore, any attempt to go beyond the Simla Agreement, which is a bilateral agreement which was signed by both the countries, I don’t think is an appropriate step in either substance or spirit,” he added.
Reacting to Prime Minister Sharif’s statement that he would seek U.S. intervention on the Kashmir dispute, Tewari said that there was neither any scope for it in the past, nor would there be a possibility of it in the future.
“On Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is absolutely clear that the spirit of the Simla Agreement has to be respected by all the parties concerned. So, therefore, there never was and there never will be a case for any third party mediation,” Tewari said.
Tewari also assured that the Army and the Central Government were prepared and completely equipped to take on any violations along the LoC, and pointed out that the overall number of incidents of violence along the border has come down over the years.
“If you compare and contrast the incidents of violence along the LoC over the years, you will find that the number of such violations has come down significantly as compared to the past,” Tewari said.
“Yes, periodically attempts are made by non-state actors to infiltrate into Indian territory from Pakistan. Therefore, if you have noticed when such an attempt was made in the Keran Sector recently, it was repudiated and foiled by the armed forces in a very systematic, organized and scientific manner,” he added.
Tewari also justified Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s concerns over the repeated ceasefire violations along the border.
“The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, being the political head, obviously, has a responsibility (and) has a reason to be worried, and, I don’t think anybody can grudge him that right. But, overall, if you look at it with a holistic perspective in a balance, the government and the armed forces have acquitted themselves fairly well by foiling all such infiltration attempts,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Directors General of Military Operations of both countries should meet at the earliest to ensure a constructive bilateral relationship.
On Sunday, after the Pakistan Army started unprovoked firing on the Jabowal post of R.S. Pura Sector and Ramgarh Sector in Samba, Border Security Forces (BSF) retaliated.
Earlier on Friday, Pakistani soldiers opened fire at Border Security Force (BSF) posts at 25 different locations in Jammu and Samba districts.
Two BSF personnel were injured and one infiltrator was killed in the firing as the Indian Army foiled multiple infiltrations bids through the night.
In the past two months, there have been more than 150 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
There has been no improvement in the situation along the Line of Control in the recent past even after the meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan.
In the September 29 talks between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, both sides had agreed that improving the situation on the LoC is the 'precondition' to 'forward movement' in the India- Pakistan relationship.
As a result of the prime ministerial level talks, it was decided to task the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to suggest effective means to restore the ceasefire.