In the strongest warning yet over unabated ceasefire violations from across the border, India asserted on Thursday that Pakistan will not be able to bear the cost of this “adventurism” if it persists with such “unprovoked” aggression.
“Pakistan in these attacks has clearly been the aggressor but it must realise that our deterrence will be credible. If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable,” Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters.
India’s strong message has reached Pakistan and will continue to do so if it persists with firing and shelling, he said.
If Pakistan wants peace on the borders, Jaitley said, it should stop what it is doing.
“Pakistan has to stop this unprovoked firing and shelling. As long as that continues how can there be peace.” Defence minister said.
Asked about chances of talks between leaders of the two countries, he shot back, “how can you talk when firing is on”.
Jaitley said that our armed forces have been doing a commendable job.
He said that India is a responsible country which is not an aggressor but it is responsible for fully protecting its people and land.
Asked about Pakistan’s motives behind the escalation, Jaitley said he would not like to speculate but firing could be a cover for infiltration and also an effort by it to precipitate tension where none existed.
“Our forces have only one option which is to respond adequately,” the Defence Minister said.
He said that many militants have been killed in firing since floods hit Jammu and Kashmir, an evidence of Pakistan’s attempts to push more militants into Indian Territory.
Jaitley also attacked opposition leaders for their “ill-informed” criticism of the government over ceasefire violations.
“They should at least know this much as to what extent our forces are going to protect the borders,” he said.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had recently attacked Narendra Modi government over ceasefire violations and Chinese incursion, questioning its policies.
Jaitley singled out NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who had also criticised the government, and said he should have been more informed as a former defence minister.
India and Pakistan traded heavy mortar and gun fire along the international border with Pakistani troops targeting 60 outposts and 90 villages on Wednesday night in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.