Pakistan forces to blame for spurt in truce violations: Antony

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New Delhi, October 30:  Defence Minister A.K. Antony has blamed the Pakistani establishment for what he called an unusual increase in ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts by terrorists from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the seventh South Asia Conference here on Wednesday, he said: “The ceasefire violations are still continuing; but this year, there are unusual developments taking place; unusual, sudden series of ceasefire violations on the International Border, which is more a matter of concern.”

He assured the nation that the armed forces were capable of meeting any challenge and were handling the situation efficiently.

Mr. Antony said India had made it clear that it wanted to improve relations with Pakistan and questioned Islamabad’s intention to reciprocate its sentiment. “If [Pakistan] is serious about improving relations, how can the infiltrations and ceasefire violations increase?”

While the Army guarded the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, the Border Security Force looked after the International Border. Likewise, on the Pakistani side, the border was guarded by the Army and Pakistan Rangers.

“When both sides of the borders are guarded by armed forces, how can the terrorists try to infiltrate the Indian border without the support or knowledge of the armed forces of Pakistan?” That the infiltrators were better equipped and ready for a long haul in India were another cause for concern. “How can terrorists feel emboldened to increase attempts at infiltration but for the tacit support, and sometimes open support, of Pakistan’s armed forces? This is the question that is worrying us.”

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