The LoC in J&K has seen a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops and the Indian Army had retaliated effectively to the Pakistani actions.
New Delhi: The Indian Army’s director-general of military operations, Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt, told his Pakistani counterpart, Maj. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, over the telephonic hotline Friday that Indian troops don’t target civilians and any firing across the border was only in response to Pakistan’s violation of the ceasefire and attempts to push armed infiltrators into India.
Lt. Gen. Bhatt’s response was in response to the Pakistani DGMO’s charge that Indian troops had fired at civilians across the Jammu and Kashmir border that the Pakistan military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said had resulted in six deaths, including four women, besides injuring 26 along the Charwa and Harpal sectors till Friday.
The telephonic exchange at around 1.30 pm took place at the behest of the Pakistani side. In recent months, in the backdrop of heightened tensions between Indian and Pakistan troops along the border, the use of the hotline between the DGMOs has become fairly frequent.
According to the prestigious SIPRI 2017 yearbook that was released on Thursday, the conflict between India and Pakistan was one of two inter-state active conflicts in 2016, the other one being between Eritrea and Ethiopia. In all, there were 49 active conflicts in 2016, of which 13 were against Islamist outfits. For all practical purposes, the India-Pakistan conflict has spilled well into 2017.
The Indian DGMO, while warning in clear terms of India’s warranted right to hit back, “highlighted that all ceasefire violations in the Jammu sector were initiated by Pakistani Rangers and the BSF troops deployed only responded appropriately to them”.
“It was also emphasised that no targeted firing on civilians was carried out by Indian troops. Besides this, firing by BSF troops was initiated against armed intruders attempting to infiltrate from close proximity of Pakistani posts along Amritsar border,” the Army said, adding that Lt. Gen. Bhatt also conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart that the trend of cross-border infiltration with “active support” of Pakistani forward posts has been continuing, impacting peace and tranquility in the border areas.
The LoC in J&K has seen a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops and the Indian Army had retaliated effectively to the Pakistani actions. The 745-km LoC has seen a spike in ceasefire violations in the past one year and it is normal for both sides to blame each other for starting the firing. While many civilians and soldiers on both sides have been killed, thousands of families fled the affected areas to safer places, abandoning their homes and hearths.