"The two sides agreed to maintain peace on the international border and hold periodic meetings," a BSF officer said

NEW DELHI: Pakistani Rangers were forced to broker peace after Border Security Forces pounded their bunkers and other installations across the International Border (IB) in retaliation to prolonged shelling in Jammu and Kashmir to push infiltration of militants. The unprovoked firing was also to undermine the central government suspending operations to reach out to people of Jammu and Kashmir during the ongoing Ramzan.

A senior BSF officer, aware of developments in Kashmir, told ET that two Rangers and 6 civilians were reported by the Pakistani media to have died due to our targeted heavy fire and 26 were injured. The Rangers called up the BSF unit in Jammu Saturday and urged our troops to stop firing, said sources in the paramilitary force.

Since last early Sunday morning Pakistan had started heavy mortar firing in RS Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu. They resorted to heavy shelling throughout the week but Friday was a bit a calmer. A BSF Jawan and four civilians were killed and an ASI of the paramilitary force was injured. Incensed with unprovoked firing, the BSF decided to hit back where it hurts. The BSF reportedly released a video that showed a rocket hitting a Pakistani bunker with a loud explosion. They also wanted to mount pressure during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state, said BSF sources.

On being asked why they wanted an end to exchange of fire, BSF officials explained that civilian and military lives lost during the holy month of Ramzan might have put pressure on the authorities due to which they decided to call truce. Otherwise too, we were ready and expecting that Pakistan will increase the heat after harvest season, said the senior BSF officer quoted earlier.

Our Director General KK Sharma had said towards the end of March that the force is prepared for an engagement with Pakistan along the IB which is making multiple attempts to push militants, the officer pointed out.

J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti lamented Islamabad did not respond to suspension of operation during the Ramzan announced by the centre a day before the holy month began on May 17. In the first two months of this year, the Lok Sabha was informed, Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement along the LoC and the IB in J&K 633 times that left 10 security personnel and 12 civilians dead.