Sniper attacks on border: ‘Pakistan shall be punished’
Udhampur, Nov 16: The Army’s Northern Command chief, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, said Friday Pakistan shall be “punished” if it carries out activities detrimental to India and asserted that befitting replies were given to the neighbouring nation for violating ceasefire. The Army commander’s comments come in the wake of fatalities in sniping incidents along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region in the last few days. “The message is very clear for the troops on the ground that should Pakistan not stop from carrying out activities, which are detrimental to our national interest along the LoC, they (Pakistan) shall be punished accordingly,” Lt Gen Singh told PTI on the sidelines of a function here to felicitate teachers of Army Goodwill schools. Three Army soldiers and a porter were killed and four others were injured in sniping incidents along the LoC in Jammu’s Rajouri and Poonch district last week. “There has been regular sniping incidents from an area along the LoC and we have regularly (lodged) protests with our Pakistani counterparts on their sniping activities. If they have carried out any ceasefire violation, we have given them a befitting reply,” Singh said. The lieutenant general also said that “as far as infiltration attempts from across the LoC are concerned, Pakistan has continued with its efforts to give impetus to infiltration.” The Indian Army is deployed all along the LoC and “we have been able to thwart all attempts by Pakistan to push in militants toward our side”, he said, adding the security situation in the state’s hinterland is stable, but remains fragile. Goodwill schools were started in 1998 and currently, the Northern Command runs 45 such schools under Project Sadbhavana. Twenty-four teachers received awards from Lt Gen Singh for their innovative skills in teaching. The project provides education to 15,000 students and employs 1,000 teaching and non-teaching staff.