Outgoing Border Security Force chief KK Sharma on Friday said that the Pakistan military had become “more aggressive” since Imran Khan came to power, reported IANS. Speaking about the killing of a BSF jawan on the International Border last week, Director General Sharma said, “This happened after Imran Khan took over as Prime Minister.”

A day after head constable Narender Singh’s body was found in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials alleged that his throat was slit by Pakistan Rangers. The soldier was found dead about nine hours after alleged cross-border firing by Pakistan in Samba district on September 18. His body had three bullet wounds on the chest, shoulders and legs. He was part of an eight-member group who had gone near the border to cut foliage, officials said.

Sharma referred to the killing as an incident of Border Action Team operation, which generally happens at the Line of Control. “Now we are witnessing BAT action on the International Border, which never happened earlier,” he said. “There is more aggressive stance from the other side compared to the past.”

Earlier, the other side would object and fire a few shots in the air whenever India carried out such exercises, said Sharma. “We used to withdraw, talk to them and the exercise would re-commence,” he said. “In this case, when the fire came, our personnel made a tactical retreat.”

However, they realised that one of their men had been left behind and went to retrieve him, when they found a helmet and a cap and some signs of a person being dragged to the other side, said the BSF chief. He added that the Pakistan Rangers took some time to get in touch with the Indian Army.

“They allowed us to search the area on the other part and our party found the body,” said Sharma. “The feet were tied, there were three bullet wounds on the chest and there was a slit mark on the throat.”

Sharma said India will give a befitting reply, reported the Hindustan Times. “We also reserve our right to retaliate at an appropriate time and place of our choosing,” he said.

India will \also take up the killing with Pakistan in an “appropriate manner”. The Ministry of External Affairs said that the BSF has registered a strong protest with Pakistan Rangers, calling the act “unsoldierly”.