Amid increasing cases of ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the international border, a senior BSF official today said this was part of the new strategy evolved by Pakistan to keep the Kashmir issue alive.
"This (firing and shelling along the border) is change of strategy and planning across the border to keep the issue of J&K alive," DIG (BSF), Dharmendra Pareek, said here today.
Pareek was speaking after laying wreath on the body of BSF Head Constable Mukesh Lal Meena, who was killed in today's firing by Pakistani troops.
He said that the Pakistan Army was helping the Rangers in shelling and firing.
Asked if Pakistan wanted to internationalise the Kashmir issue by targeting posts along the border, Pareek said, "I can say authentically, of course yes."
"Fidayeen attacks took place at the time when Prime Minister was talking to Pakistan. There was a lot in media at that time in support of continuance of the talks. Across the border, they do not want this," he said.
On involvement of Pakistan Army in firing along the border and their assistance to the Rangers in shelling, Pareek said, "We have inputs that rangers are being helped by regulars." He, however, ruled out Army's deployment on Indian side of the border, affirming that the "BSF has sufficient forces to deal with the situation and security of borders." Asked whether there was any change in security situation, Pareek said, "There is no big change. After October 15, regularly there are flare-ups. They fire continuously from across the border, we are giving them befitting reply."
"When they will fire, we will reply back with better arms and ammunition."
On infiltration by militants, Pareek said "we got lots of inputs from across the border that there are militant groups in league with disruptive forces there.
"We have seen movements. In an infiltration attempt, we killed one intruder and they could not succeed. There might be attempts, but so far we have not detected any full movement on the international border. There is movement across, and at some distance from the international border." When asked about estimated number of militants across the border waiting to sneak in, he said "there are militants across, everyone is aware of this. But it is difficult to say about their numbers. There are militant groups active across. It is very difficult to say how many are there." He said that as a tactical plot, Pakistani rangers are targeting the villages now as it is difficult to target the posts.
"It is easy to target villagers and pressurise them indirectly, and also BSF," Pareek said.
The BSF DIG said that since October 17, one person died and nine suffered injuries in ceasefire violation along the international border.
On another question, Pareek said the morale of the troops is very high.
"They are targeting villages to pressurise us. But we will not be cowed down. They are targeting forces to cause damage. they know we cannot caused damage to troops so they target civilians," he said.
On the issue of flag meetings with Pakistan, Pareek said, "We attempted twice, after October 18 and 20. There was no communication between us, they promised to come back but nobody returned."