With ceasefire violations along the Line of Control already crossing 750 this year, India told Pakistan on Friday that it was only retaliating due to its continuing support to aide and abet cross-border terrorism.
This came after the Pakistan DGMO, Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, called up his Indian counterpart Lt- General Anil Chauhan on Friday evening for unscheduled talks over the hotline to allege that Indian security forces had resorted to “unprovoked firing and calibre escalation” along the LoC.
“Lt-Gen Chauhan emphatically stated that retaliatory firing by Indian troops has only been carried out in response to unabated support given by Pakistan Army to armed terrorists who infiltrate across the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons,” said an Indian officer.
“Lt-Gen Chauhan impressed upon the Pak DGMO that the support to terrorism by Pakistan Army is unacceptable and the Indian Army will continue to take all retaliatory measures,” he added.
The onus of de-escalation along the 778-km long LoC rests with the Pakistan Army and they should stop supporting terrorists and put an end to unprovoked ceasefire violations to abet infiltration, said the officer.
As first reported, the Indian Army has decided to continue with its strategy to “pro-actively dominate” the LoC, while taking care to minimize “collateral damage” during counter-terror operations in the hinterland in Kashmir.
The just-concluded Army commanders’ conference here dwelt upon the heightened tensions along the LoC, while also expressing the need to bring “radicalized youth” back into the mainstream while reviewing developments like the increase in incidents of stone-pelting protestors trying to disrupt counter-terror operations in the Valley.
As per estimates, over 40 youth have joined militant ranks in J&K this year as compared to 128 last year. While over 55 terrorists have been killed in J&K this year till now, almost 30 soldiers have also laid down their lives.
The fierce cross-border firing duels, which has seen artillery guns and anti-tank guided missiles coming into regular play, are unlikely to ebb anytime soon.
This year, in fact, is all set to record the highest number of CFVs in the last 15 years since the ceasefire along the LoC, the 198-km International Border (IB) in J&K and the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen came into force in November 2003.
The spike in cross-border hostilities after the “surgical strikes” in September 2016 saw as many as 860 CFVs along the LoC and another 120 along the IB in 2017. This year, the figure has already crossed 750 along the LoC.>