Jammu: Amid a spurt in armed exchanges on the border, BSF chief K K Sharma on Monday said Pakistani forces are deliberately trying to "create a flash point" to facilitate infiltration of militants into India and asserted that these designs will be foiled.
He insisted that BSF never initiates ceasefire violations nor does it target civilian areas, a comment that assumes significance in the wake of Pakistan army's claim that two people, including a minor girl, were killed in firing by Indian troops.
"They (Pakistani forces) deliberately create such flash points with an aim of engineering infiltration," he told reporters in Jammu while commenting on the intensified cross- border shelling and firing by Pakistani troops.
"You can say that they (Pakistani troops) always try to create a flash point so that they get an excuse to go for action," Sharma added after laying wreath on mortal remains of BSF Head Constable Sushil Kumar who was killed in Pakistani shelling in R S Pura sector this morning.
The BSF Director General said while Pakistan may start the confrontation, "we are committed to give befitting reply and foiling their designs of infiltration.... We have to react so that we do not allow them to get successful in their designs to engineer infiltration from across the border."
He said the morale of the troops is "very high and we are ready to meet any eventuality".
Asserting that BSF never initiates ceasefire violation, he said the Indian border guarding force only gives a "befitting reply" to the provocations by the Pakistani forces.
"I want to clarify that we have never initiated (any ceasefire violation). It is Pakistan which is doing it. As you know in case of (BSF constable) Gurnam Singh, they killed him in a sniper fire first. In reply to that we gave them befitting reply," Sharma said, referring to last week's incident in which BSF claimed to have killed 7 Pakistani Rangers and a terrorist in retaliatory fire.
"The way they are bombarding our areas, they are targeting civilians but as a policy, BSF does not target civilians at all," Sharma said.
"We only target the place from where the fire is coming. We only target military and Pakistani Rangers establishments.
We never intentionally target civilian areas," he added.
About today's incident, he said, "They initiated heavy shelling in R S Pura, we retaliated to that."
He added, "the area weapons do not have great amount of accuracy. As a result, civilians are also harmed, property is also damaged. That is the collateral damage."
In reply to another question about his message and directive to the field commanders, Sharma said "I have asked my commanders not to initiate anything. But at the same time give them befitting and strong reply".
Sending out a message, the BSF DG said, "I would like to convey to Pakistan that as in the past, they will have to retreat. I will only tell them that they should desist from unholy designs and they should not do anything that will harm us as in the past."
Giving details about last night's incidents of firing and shelling, the BSF DG said a vital organ of Head Constable Sushil Kumar was hit by a bullet due to which he later died.
"From my side and on behalf of BSF and the country, we praise the role and supreme sacrifice of the brave-heart jawan and pay tributes to him," he said.
"We are sad over the death of two jawans whom we have paid tributes from this campus alone but I want to assure you that we will give a befitting reply to this action of Pakistan," Sharma said.
"As you know for past few days there have been firing exchanges on the two sides and Pakistan has been initiating firing and shelling," he said.
The DG said, "I was told that there is a huge loss of life and property on the other side. My officers told me that opposite to our Chenab post, there lies Tariq post of Pakistan where ambulances were seen. There is also loss and damage to the Pak Rangers as well".
When pointed out that there are generally ceasefire violations by Pakistan during this time, he said, "I agree with you that in 2014 and 2015 during this period only there have been hostilities from the Pakistan side.
"As you know we have always given them a befitting reply and I assure you that we will give them a befitting reply this time as well."
Replying to another question about the security situation along the border line, he said "I think they are still smarting over the surgical actions taken by Army".