JAMMU, Mar 13: Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said today that India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism, and any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.
“The onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue between the two countries,” Ahir told Lok Sabha in response to a question.
“It has been made clear to Pakistan that Government seeks to have normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully.
“However, any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere. India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism,” he said in a written reply to a query.
Ahir said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner, to respect the sanctity of the International Boundary and Line of Control and to adhere to the 2003 understanding on ceasefire along the International Boundary and the Line of Control in order to maintain peace and tranquility.
“The Government has through established channels of communication such as DGMOs, meetings of border guarding forces as well as diplomatic channels, lodged strong protests against continued support to cross-border terrorism against India by Pakistan, including by providing cover fire in support of cross-border infiltration of terrorists,” he said.
The Minister said the Government has deplored the unprovoked firing by the Pakistani forces resulting in the loss of innocent civilian lives. It has been conveyed to Pakistan that such acts of targeting civilian population by Pakistan forces are against all established humanitarian norms and practices.
Pakistan violated the ceasefire along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir 633 times in the first two months of this year in which 10 security personnel and 12 civilians were killed, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
Ahir said 432 incidents of ceasefire violation have taken place along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and 201 such incidents along the International Border till February this year.
There were 860 incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC and 111 incidents of ceasefire violation along the IB in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, he said in another written reply to a question.
Ahir also said that 12 civilians were killed and 59 others were injured in such incidents this year.
Six army personnel were killed and 18 other soldiers injured in these incidents. Four BSF personnel were killed and 22 BSF jawans injured in these incidents of ceasefire violations.
As many as 60 incidents of terrorist violence have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir this year in which 15 security personnel and 17 terrorists were killed, Ahir said.
He said 60 incidents had taken place till March 4 this year, as against 39 such incidents during the same period last year.
Ahir said 15 security personnel, 17 terrorists and two civilians had been killed till March 4 this year. During the same period last year, 10 security personnel, 26 terrorists and four civilians were killed.
“The State of Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorist violence that is sponsored and supported from across the border. The levels of terrorist violence in the hinterland of J&K are linked to the infiltration from across the border,” he said.
Ahir said there were 16 attempts by terrorists to enter Jammu and Kashmir in January this year. Four infiltrating terrorists were killed by security forces, while infiltrators managed to cross into the State on five occasions.