New Delhi: Pakistan will find its firing and shelling along the Jammu and Kashmir border “unaffordable”, Indian Defence Minister Arun Jailtey warned.
Insisting that Pakistan was the aggressor, the minister told the media: “If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable.”
He said Pakistan had made a series of “unprovoked” violations of the 2003 ceasefire on the border in the last few days.
“These have mostly been on the international border and some have been at the Line of Control (LoC) also,” he pointed out.
“The international border has never been an issue at all and most of these violations are occurring at the international border.
“India is a responsible state. It is never an aggressor but at the same time it has a paramount duty to defend its people and its territory,” said Jaitley.
“Our armed forces, particularly the army and the BSF (Border Security Force) in this case, have only one option… that is to respond adequately and defend our territory and our people.
“Our forces have been doing a commendable job in the face of these unprovoked acts of aggression by Pakistan.”
Pakistan was “clearly been the aggressor. But it must realise that our deterrence will be credible”, the minister said.
“If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable.”
The minister refused to get into operational details of the clashes along the border.
As long the Pakistani forces continued to fire and shell Indian areas, “how can there be peace?” he asked.
Seven civilians have been killed in Pakistani firing since Oct 6. A total of 60 people have been injured, including five Wednesday night.
Jaitley said the firing and shelling were “an effort by Pakistan to precipitate tensions where none exist” and “to provide a cover for infiltration” of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.
Thousands have fled from border villages in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts following attacks both by the Pakistan Army and its paramilitary Pakistan Rangers.