Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi started relations with neighbouring Pakistan on the right note by inviting his counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his oath-taking ceremony on 26 May, the gesture has failed to limit ceasefire violations by Pakistani army across the border.
In less than three months that he has been in charge, more than 20 ceasefire violations have been recorded, with a fresh violation reported on Friday night, when Pakistani troops targeted Indian forward posts with small arms and automatic weapons along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Pakistani troops opened unprovoked firing from small arms and automatic weapons at our forward posts in Bhimbher Gali sub-sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir around 2230 hours yesterday," Press Trust of India quoted Lt. Col. Manish Mehta, public relations officer for Defence, who added that Indian troops retaliated. "There was no loss of life or damage to property in the firing on this side of LoC".
This firing marks the second such violation this month itself, and mars the goodwill around the release of the captured BSF jawan, who was swept to Pakistan when he fell into the Chenab river.
The violation came a little after the Pakistan rangers and the BSF made a commitment to uphold peace and tranquility along the border during a flag meeting on Friday that was held for the repatriation of the Indian soldier.
A few days earlier, on 5 August, Pakistani troops had targeted Indian forward posts with small arms and automatic weapons along the Line of Control in Sher Shakti forward belt of Poonch district, according to PTI.
Eight ceasefire violations were committed by Pakistan in July, in which a few Indian soldiers also lost their lives, while in June, Pakistan violated the ceasefire five times. There were 19 incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC in April-May, according to NDTV.
These frequent violations could derail the strengthening relations between the two countries ever since the Modi government took charge, which even other nations such as the United States have appreciated.
Last month, the United States Congress had heaped praise on Modi for his regional diplomacy.
"When Prime Minister Modi invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, and the leaders of South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to his inauguration ceremony, he demonstrated his firm commitment to strengthening India's ties with its immediate region," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, said at the Congressional hearing. "That's good news for India and the region, and greatly beneficial to global stability".
Modi is also said to have reiterated to Sharif the need to check cross-border violations in the meeting in May.