Will revoke Ramzan ceasefire if cross-border firing continues: Centre

SansadTV Bureau
Photo: PTI

Photo: PTI

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said the government would be “constrained” to revoke the Ramzan ceasefire, it had announced last month, if Pakistan continued to indulge in cross-border firing and terrorism. His statement came as incidents of ceasefire violations were reported in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We had decided to suspend operations in view of Ramzan. However, there is no respite in cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations on the part of Pakistan,” Ahir said.

Two BSF personnel were killed on Sunday as Pakistani rangers resorted to unprovoked heavy firing and mortar shelling across the border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pargwal and Kanachak areas on Sunday.

The ceasefire violation comes nearly a week after DGMOs of both countries agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact in letter and spirit. The continuous cross-border firing has lead to government contemplate on Ramzan ceasefire, told the central minister.

“We will be constrained to revoke the ceasefire agreement,” MoS Home Hansraj Ahir said at a press conference on Sunday, adding the provisions of the truce allow India to retaliate if Pakistan initiates unprovoked firing. Ahir said India continues to believe in the “no-first-strike” policy.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also termed the ceasefire violation as unfortunate and said the DGMOs of India and Pakistan should hold dialogue again and stop the bloodshed.

The government had on May 16 directed security forces in Jammu and Kashmir to follow what it called “non-initiation of combat operations” during the holy month of Ramzan. The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people, the ministry had said.

(With agency inputs)