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Sword, Not Just Shield, in India’s Hand, Defence Minister Warns Pakistan

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NEW DELHI: India warned Pakistan on Tuesday of “pain” if it continues to violate the ceasefire along the Kashmir border. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told NDTV it’s up to Islamabad to create the conditions for a resumption of talks.
“Our conventional strength is far more than theirs. So if they persist with this, they’ll feel the pain of this adventurism,” the Defence Minister said to NDTV. “When Pakistan used to fire, we always had a shield in our hand. This time we also had a sword,” he added, emphasizing that India has asked its armed forces to retaliate forcefully to ceasefire violations.

In the worst violence in over a decade, at least 20 civilians have been killed this month on both sides of the border; dozens more were injured. While the firing has abated, tension remains high along the border.

India’s top Army officials and the government said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the defence forces a free hand on handling the tension and violence at the Kashmir border.

Mr Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, to his swearing-in ceremony in May. After that, talks between Foreign Secretaries of the two countries were scheduled for August but India opted out after Pakistan’s ambassador to Delhi met with Kashmiri separatists ahead of the meeting.

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