ISLAMABAD: Pakistani officials accused Indian troops of continuing to fire across the working boundary in Sialkot region on Saturday as India voiced “grave concern” over the military flare-up.
Official sources said personnel of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) fired intermittently at border villages in Bajwat, Chaprar, Suchitgarh, Charwah, Umeranwali and Bajra Garhi sectors of the Sialkot Working Boundary area throughout the day.
Saturday was the fourth consecutive day when the BSF resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing at the border villages, they said. The cross-border firing has already claimed lives of two people, including a Ranger.
The sources said the Indian guns fell silent only after personnel of the Chenab Rangers retaliated in a “befitting manner”.
In New Delhi, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid described the military flare-up as a “serious matter”.
“This is a serious matter, a matter of great concern to India,” Mr Khurshid told the NDTV channel as the Press Trust of India claimed that two BSF personnel were injured in overnight firing by Pakistani troops.
The BSF troops “retaliated strongly”, the national news agency report said. It added that the attack was the latest in a string of five violations within 24 hours of a ceasefire along the de facto border.
“We will handle it (the flare-up) with the greatest sagacity, greatest firmness and determination to protect both the sovereignty and the safety and security of our citizens,” the Indian minister said.
The clashes follow a pledge a few weeks ago by the prime ministers of the two countries at a meeting on the sidelines of a UN conference to restore calm along the Line of Control. —Agencies