New Delhi: Indian Army on Tuesday said that the sacrifice made by two of its soldiers, who were brutally killed by Pakistan troops on January 8, will not go in vain and it will give a stern response to the hostile nation at an appropriate time.
Addressing the media, Lt Gen KT Parnaik (GoC Northern Command) said, “We are proud of our soldiers who made supreme sacrifices on January 8 while defending the border posts at Poonch and the Mendhar sector in Jammu & Kashmir. I want to assure everyone on behalf of the Indian Army that their sacrifices will not go in vain.”
Lt Gen Parnaik further said that the Indian Army is alert and fully prepared to meet any eventuality or act of aggression from the Pakistan side.
"We do not believe in reacting in haste and anger. We have our plans. We will react in time," he said.
He said at the flag meeting, the Pakistani side was in "denial mode". "Pakistan remained adamant, arrogant and not ready to accept anything. We told them we will continue to respect ceasefire but not if we are provoked," he said.
“Pakistan troops have been provoking the Indian side so that the LoC remains hot and active,” Lt Gen Parnaik added.
The chief of the northern command also lauded the efforts of the Indian soldiers, who exercise great restraint while guarding the country’s vast borders along Pakistan and China.
Lt Gen Parnaik termed the gruesome killing of the two Indian soldiers as ‘inhuman’ and an ‘unpardonable’ offence and expressed hope that the Indian government will raise the matter at the highest international level.
"On January 8, Pakistan breached the LoC on Mendhar sector, in a very barbaric act and mutilated our soldiers. It violates the Geneva Convention and violates the ceasefire agreement. My heart goes out to the families of these two soldiers."
Lt Gen Parnaik also categorically rejected allegations from Pakistan that the Indian Army raided its posts across the LoC, which provoked its forces to retaliate, leading to the killing of the two Indian soldiers.
Warning Pakistan not to provoke the Indian Army, Let Gen Parnaik endorsed the statement made by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh that Indian Army will choose a time and place for its response if provoked.”
The top ranking Army official also charged Pakistan of repeatedly violating the ceasefire and opening indiscriminate firing on the Indian border posts.
"Pakistan has been resorting to violence. In 2011, there were more than 100 ceasefire violations as compared to 52 last year. Pakistan is frustrated as infiltration is not taking place. They were as adamant and arrogant as they are." he said.
"Pakistan has continuously tried to infiltrate from a nallah at Uri. We have restricted that to a large extent and that's what frustrates them," Lt Gen Parnaik added.
He also said that Pakistan was continuously violating ceasefire and continues to remain in denial mode. "We had the meeting on January 14, on the night of Jan 13 and 14 they fired motors. We spoke to them on the hotline, we asked them that when they have agreed for a meeting, why were they violating the ceasefire. We told them we are recording all of this, their firing stopped then," Lt Gen Parnaik said.
He, however, concluded by urging the soldiers to exercise restraint and not to be provoked by the Pakistan forces.
“India will continue to retaliate whenever provoked. Pakistan is provoking us so that the LoC becomes hot and active. Our troops exercise great restraint and respect the spirit of the ceasefire accord between the two countries. Whenever we are provoked we have retaliated and we will continue to do so," Lt Gen Parnaik said.
First Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 12:54