NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Sunday finally agreed to the flag meeting being demanded by India between rival formation commanders in the Poonch district of J&K, a day after IAF chief NAK Browne warned that "other options for compliance" would have to be examined if Islamabad continued to blatantly flout the line of control's sanctity.
However, even as the two sides prepared for the flag meeting to be held at the Chakkan Da Bagh crossing point in Poonch district at 1pm on Monday, Pakistan army was at it again to violate the ceasefire agreement — a well-honed strategy to give covering fire to terrorists trying to sneak into J&K.
On Sunday evening, Pakistan army fired mortar shells on several Indian posts in the Nangi Tekri area of the Krishnaghati sub-sector of Poonch district. "We retaliated to the Pakistan firing," said an officer.
Earlier, on Saturday night as well, in the by now over half-a-dozen such ceasefire violations since January 1, Pakistani troops had opened fire at Indian posts in the Krishnaghati sub-sector, quite near the place where two Indian soldiers were brutally killed last week.
"Equipped with night vision devices like hand-held thermal imagers, our soldiers spotted some six to seven persons trying to infiltrate around 9.45pm. They then opened fire in retaliation and drove the infiltrators back," the officer said.
To take up beheading case
During the flag meeting on Monday, India will lodge another strong protest against the beheading of one of its jawans and mutilation of another's body by Pakistani army "regulars" last week.
This comes after foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai last week summoned Pakistani high commissioner Salman Bashir to protest against the "barbaric and inhuman mutilation" of the bodies of Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles. The Pakistani troops, after sneaking into the Mendhar sector, had chopped and taken Hemraj's head back as a "trophy" with them on January 8.
Officials on Sunday said Pakistan will be warned not to repeatedly violate the ceasefire agreement, in force since November 2003 as a confidence-building measure, if it wants to de-escalate tensions between the two armies pitted against each other along the meandering 778-km LoC.
The Indian delegation at the flag meeting led by the 10 'Krishnaghati' Brigade commander Brigadier TS Sandhu, who has three battalions including 13 Rajputana Rifles under him, will also demand that Hemraj's severed head be returned.
"The Pakistan army, however, is unlikely to agree since it will not accept its complicity despite all the evidence. It's still feigning ignorance about both the cross-border intrusion by its soldiers as well as the subsequent mutilation of the bodies of two Indian jawans," a senior officer said.
But even as India seeks answers about the "highly provocative and totally unacceptable act", Pakistan shows no signs of giving up its strategy of providing covering fire to terrorists infiltrating into J&K.
Pakistan army committed as many as 117 ceasefire violations in 2012, a major jump over the 2011 tally of 61, with the aim being to push in as many terrorists as possible into J&K to stoke militancy.
After the spike in ceasefire violations last year, the Indian Army in November had also sought a flag meeting with the Pakistan army in the Uri sector but the latter had refused it. The last time Pakistan had agreed to a flag meeting was in June 2012, which too was held at Chakan Da Bagh, after two Indian jawans were killed and four others injured in cross-border shelling, officials said.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-continues-firing-across-LoC-even-as-it-talks-peace/articleshow/18012030.cms