Air Chief talks of ‘other options’ on Pak

FP

At a time when India has proposed local-level military talks to resolve the ongoing crisis at the Line of Control (LoC), Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne on Saturday queered the pitch by saying that the military "may have to look at some other options for compliance" in case violations on the border continue.

Hours after his statement, there was fresh firing at the LoC. According to the Army, there was an infiltration attempt by seven-eight men from across the border, with covering fire provided by five posts on the Pakistani side, including 'Yellow Bump', 'LC1', 'LC2' and 'Roza'. The Indian side fired back to stop the infiltration bid and the exchange of fire continued intermittently for about two hours. No attempt was made by anyone to cross the LoC after that.

"No heavy mortars were used, only small arms fire. No casualties were reported," a senior Army officer said.

The infiltration bid and firing were reported from an area held by the 13 Raj Rif, one of whose soldiers had been killed and beheaded by Pakistan army regulars, setting off the current tension at the LoC.

While Browne, who is also chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, did not elaborate on what the "other options" of the military he had mentioned would be, his statement has surprised many as it comes at a time when efforts are on to resolve the recent spate of ceasefire violations.

"We are monitoring the situation carefully because if these things continue to be the way they are and these violations continue to take place, then perhaps we may have to look at some other options for compliance," Browne said. When asked what options were available with the government, the Air Chief said, "Options are options. We do not discuss these options openly."

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