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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

India warns Pakistan of ‘unaffordable’ cost for its persistent ‘adventurism’

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday sent out a strong warning to Pakistan, saying it will have to bear an 'unaffordable' cost if it persists with its 'adventurism' as Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that aggression from across the border is being responded to with courage.

Under attack from opposition over the escalating ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the issue should not be politicised, arguing that it demoralises the jawans fighting on the border.

“The enemy has realised that times have changed and their old habits will not be tolerated”, Modi said even as Pakistan shelled 90 Indian villages of Jammu and Kashmir, continuing to violate the ceasefire.

“People know my intentions and I need not express those in words. Where the jawans have to speak, they speak with their finger on the trigger...and they will continue to speak that way,” the Prime Minister said, replying to opposition criticism against him over the issue.

He said, “Today, when bullets are being fired on the border, it is the enemy that is screaming. Our jawans have responded to the aggression with courage.”

Modi, while addressing an election rally in Maharashtra's Baramati, the turf of NCP chief and former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar, slammed those targeting the government on the issue through a public discourse, saying it demoralised the jawans fighting on the border.

“Such an issue should not be part of a political debate... Elections will come and go, governments will come and go, but please don't demoralise those fighting on the border by debating these things for political gains,” said Modi who had been attacking the previous UPA government over its dealing with Pakistan in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Pakistan in these attacks has clearly been the aggressor but it must realise that our deterrence will be credible. If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable.”

India's message has reached Pakistan, he said, adding the strong Indian response will continue if Pakistan persists with firing and shelling.

The Ministry of External Affairs had summoned the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner on Tuesday in New Delhi to lodge India's protest over ceasefire violations saying it will not help the bilateral ties. The summoning came a day after Pakistan issued a demarche to India by calling in the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad.

Pakistan Rangers shelled almost the entire 192-km border overnight. Nearly 30,000 people have been displaced following one of the worst violations of the 2003 ceasefire by Pakistan which has left eight people dead and 80 others, including nine security men, injured since October 1.

“Pakistani Rangers continued with unprovoked mortar shelling and heavy automatic weapon firing on BSF posts all along International Border (IB) since 2045 hours last night,” a BSF spokesman said in Jammu.

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Arun Jaitley delivering a statement before the media on the border situation of Jammu & Kashmir, in New Delhi on Thursday. Jaitley said if Pakistan wants peace on the borders, it should stop what it is doing.

“Pakistan has to stop this unprovoked firing and shelling. As long as that continues how can there be peace.” Asked about chances of talks between leaders of the two countries, he shot back, “how can you talk when firing is on?”

Underlining that India is a responsible country which is not an aggressor but is responsible for fully protecting its people and land, the Defence Minister said, "Our forces are taking all steps they can to protect our people and land."

Both Modi and Jaitley attacked the opposition leaders who have been criticising the government over its handling of the border situation.