NEW DELHI: The Indian government has told the Rajya Sabha that ceasefire violations and casualties on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border have come down since September when it says its troops carried out surgical strikes inside Azad Kashmir against militant targets, The Hindu has said.
Pakistan has denied any crossing of the LoC by Indian troops.
The government was replying to a question whether terrorist activities had increased after the so-called surgical strikes.
“The ceasefire violations by Pakistan have come down post-surgical strikes. There were 228 ceasefire violations at the LoC in 2016 and 221 at the IB [International Border]. However, till February 2017, there have only been 22 ceasefire violations and six on the IB,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said. “The civilian casualties and injuries in 2017 have been zero at the IB and the LoC, whereas in 2016, there were 13 civilian casualties and 83 injured on the LoC and eight casualties on the IB and 74 were injured. Five BSF jawans lost their lives and 25 were injured along the IB,” the minister said.
While Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government of not giving a full reply, Home Minister Rajnath Singh disagreed with him.
He said there were 110 terrorist incidents in three months before the surgical strikes and 87 in the three months after them. Also, 34 security personnel were killed before and 19 after, whereas the civilian casualties were seven earlier and six afterwards.
Mr Singh put the onus on Pakistan for the resumption of dialogue, saying it should end what he called “cross-border terrorism”.
“Pakistan should at least make a beginning and say it is willing to talk and end the terrorist activities,” he said.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked why there was no movement on a dialogue with all stakeholders in India-held Kashmir despite an all-party delegation led by the government calling for it. Mr Singh said that he had visited Kashmir thrice and had let it be known that he was willing to meet anyone there.
“You know the reality. Please say it. Sharad Yadavji and Sitaram Yechuryji had at the time of the delegation tried but had to return,” he said.
He said job opportunities for Kashmiri youth had increased.
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