India, Pakistan hold flag meeting
A flag meeting between India and Pakistan on the border tensions ended at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday with India lodging a strong protest over beheading of a soldier even as Army Chief General Bikram Singh upped the ante saying India would retaliate at the place and time of its choosing if provoked by the neighbour.
The meeting started at 1 pm where India lodged a strong protest against the killing of two Indian Army soldiers by Pakistan troops last week besides raising concern over the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), reports said.
Pertinently, India had requested for the Brigadier-level flag meet to ease the tension at the Line of Control (LoC) after a week of hostility.
Calling the entire border campaign and ambushes by Pakistan as pre-planned and an operation based on lies, General Singh talked tough and said he has asked his men to go aggressive if there is any provocation from the other side.
"We will uphold the ceasefire as long as the adversary upholds it. When we are fired at and provoked we shall respond immediately," he said ahead of the flag meeting.
"We will retaliate to Pakistan's attack at a place and time of our choosing," General Singh said.
He said in the face of provocation Indian Army should be aggressive and offensive.
He said the Indian response so far has been measured under extreme provocation.
"At the military level it is a technical operation dealt with by local commanders. I have given very clear directions to the Northern Commander in this regard," he said.
He said Pakistan's claims of Indian action on Jan 6 is based on lies.
Meanwhile, fresh firing reportedly took place from the Pakistani side at the Nangri-Tekri area across the Line of Control on Sunday evening. The Indian Army retaliated.
On Saturday too, firing was reported from the Krishnaghati area in Poonch.
The firing on Saturday came a day after firing was reported from the Pakistani side on eight Indian posts in Krishna Ghati and Sona Gali sectors, amid heightened tensions between the two countries.
Ties between the two nuclear armed neighbours deteriorated last week over border firing and killing of two Indian soldiers, including the beheading of one of the martyrs by Pakistani troops.
Pakistan has, however, denied its soldiers killed or beheaded any Indian soldiers.
Two Pakistani soldiers also died, reports said.