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High alert as Pakistan mobilises troops along Rajasthan, Gujarat borders

Source: DB

Jaipur/Ahmedabad: Pakistan has deployed more troops across the international borders with Rajasthan and Gujarat in the wake rising tension between the two countries after the killing of Indian soldiers on LoC in Jaamu and Kashmir on January 8.

“A lot of military movement is being noticed in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts and Gujarat along the international border for the last few days, which is not normal,” BSF sources said.
The BSF has launched an ‘operation alert’ along the border. “Patrolling across the border has intesified while defence personnel are constantly on vigil from watch towers,” they said.
The BSF has also begun extensive patrolling around the border posts and stationed ambush parties at a number of places. According to  Rajasthan Frontier spokesperson DIG RK Thapa, the operation would continue until January 8.
On a day when Pakistan vehemently denied its involvement in the killings of Indian jawans, including the beheading of a soldier, General Bikram Singh on Monday warned of revenge. The Indian Army chief termed the beheading “unacceptable and unpardonable” and said India reserves the right to retaliate at the “time and place of its choice”. He added that India’s military has been asked to respond “aggressively and offensively”.
“We have firing plans with us but I do not want to divulge anything at this moment. But we will answer them,” General Singh said. “India reserves its right to retaliate at the time and place of its choice. We won’t remain passive when attacked.”
The brigadier-level flag meeting at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district on Monday failed to de-escalate tension between the two countries as India and Pakistan stuck to their guns. While the Indian delegation led by Brigadier MVS Kumar expressed grave concern about the barbaric act by Pakistani troops in Mendhar sector last week, Pakistan denied its involvement in the incident. It claimed there was no ceasefire violation by its troops and alleged that Indian troops crossed the LoC and killed a Pakistani soldier apart from injuring another.
Putting the onus of maintaining the ceasefire on Pakistan, General Bikram Singh said India will uphold it as long as the “adversary” does. However, he added that he expected commanders posted along the LoC to be “aggressive and offensive”. General Singh claimed the Indian Army has adequate resources and wisdom at the Commander level and the operation per se will be dealt with at a ‘tactical level’.
Pakistan says India blowing issue out of proportion
Pakistan continued to deny decapitating any Indian soldier’s body and maintained that India was blowing things out of proportions. This came even as former Indian diplomats and Army chiefs claim that Pakistan’s actions are tantamount to a war crime.
Retired Pakistan Air Vice Marshal Abid Rao told IBN18, “First of all, if what you have said is right, I condemn it. The statements given by your Army Chief and your Air Chief…they are blowing the issue beyond proportion. These things can be settled in local flag meeting. Don’t blow it out of proportion where public sentiment is also blown up to an extent where people are talking about revenge.”
Former Indian diplomat KC Singh replied saying, “To say that we have blown it out of proportion is wrong. It is not a simple death. It’s a question of an intruder coming in and committing what is tantamount to war crime.”
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