The Pakistan army was involved in a total of 3,479 ceasefire violations along the Jammu and Kashmir border in 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, he said 13 Indian Army personnel and two soldiers of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed in action in 2019 due to ceasefire violations (CFVs) and cross border firing (CBF).
"Very often terrorists attempting to carry out reconnaissance to facilitate infiltration also become casualties and these are then depicted as civilian casualties to portray India's action as being aggressive," Singh said.
Such portrayal is done to draw the attention of international media to CFVs and CBF, and divert the attention from the support provided to terrorists, who are trained by Pakistan in POJK (Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir) and its other areas, the minister said.
Appropriate retaliation to the CFVs, as required, has been carried out by the Indian Army or BSF, he said.
"In addition, all violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries," Singh stated.
"The BSF, too, holds talks at various levels with its counterpart viz Pakistan Rangers," the minister mentioned.
Diplomatically, India has repeatedly emphasised, including at the highest level, the need for Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir as per its obligations emanating from the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration, Singh stated.
In January, February and March, there were 216, 251 and 275 CFVs, respectively by Pakistan along the Jammu and Kashmir border, the minister stated.
In October, November and December, there were 398, 333 and 393 CFVs, respectively by the neighbouring country along the border, he added.
At 190, the lowest number of CFVs in 2019, were observed in the month of June, according to the statistics presented by the defence minister in Rajya Sabha.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)