SRINAGAR: Amid no signs of cooling of tension on the Indo-Pak border, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the Centre will have to look at other options if Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire.
Centre should explore other options if Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire along LoC, he said.
Referring to the New York meeting between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Omar said Manmohan Singh was very forthright in putting across India’s concerns.
“A mechanism had been worked out whereby the DGMOs of both countries would meet to discuss cooling of the LoC and IB (international Border). That has not happened so far. I believe that is an option that needs to be exercised, failing which obviously, Government of India will have to look at responding in kind,” he said.
A total of 136 ceasefire violations have been reported in 2013, the highest in the past 8 years. Omar also lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for seeking US intervention for resolution of Kashmir issue.
“The Pakistani Prime Minister is guilty of playing to his home audience. Clearly, he knows from experience that India will not accept any sort of foreign intervention in the matter of Jammu and Kashmir. Make it clear that no sort of mediation or any sort of role for a third party exists (in Kashmir). It is something that both the countries have agreed.
“Please remember one of the major aspects of Tashkent agreement decades ago was exactly this: for the return of territories that India had won in that war, Pakistan will give up its claim for any third party mediation on the issue of Kashmir. For some reason, Pakistan wants to forget those aspects of these agreements that do not suit it,” he said.
Earlier addressing police personnel on the occasion of Police Martyrs’ Commemoration Day, the Chief Minister said if Pakistan continued to violate the ceasefire, India will have to look at other options.
“If they violate the ceasefire, we won’t respond by words only. We will have to find some other options. If our people living along the borders are being targeted, we also know how to respond in kind but so far we do not want to do it,” he said.
Omar said the restraint exercised by India was to avoid sufferings for the masses.
“We do not want that common people face problems but continued ceasefire violations will not be tolerated. Today, villages are being deserted…people are leaving their farms, their houses and children are leaving their schools. The reason is that Pakistan is violating the ceasefire,” he said.
Pakistani troops had last night opened fire at six forward posts of the BSF along the International Border (IB) in Jammu district.
The Pakistani rangers resorted to unprovoked firing at the six Border Out Posts (BOP) in R S pura sub-sector. Two of the six BOPs were pounded with mortar shells. Omar said ceasefire along the LoC and International border in Jammu and Kashmir was one of the major steps agreed by India and Pakistan which had benefited the people of the state.
“If we look at the borders, the ceasefire is being repeatedly violated. The one step agreed by the leaders of the two countries and which had benefited the people of this state, it is being harmed frequently,” he said.
Omar said either the Pakistan Prime Minister was involved in the regular ceasefire violations or he was not in control of the situation.
“I don’t understand whether Pak Prime Minister is involved (in the violations) or he is not in control of the situation. But whatever it is, we must strive to defeat these forces, who are trying to destroy the lives of our people living close to the borders,” he said.
Omar assured the people living in border areas that his government will take all necessary steps to make their day-to-day lives easier till they are able to return to their homes.
“I want to assure the people living in areas affected by cross-LoC shelling that the state government will take all measures needed for making their day-to-day lives easier. A team of ministers is visiting the affected areas to talk to people so that whatever steps are needed will be taken for their welfare till they return to their homes,” he said. -PTI