Pakistan is now “trembling” by the proactive stance of Indian soldiers, as reflected in the nearly three dozen ‘Red Alerts’ issued for its posts and civilians on the LoC.
Sources said the Army “has been able to establish moral ascendancy on the LoC and undertake proactive tactical actions” to prevent Pakistan from activating its terror launch pads on the LoC in the coming summer season.
According to estimates of the Northern Command, headquartered in Udhampur, 375-400 militants are waiting on the Pakistani side of the LoC, ready to infiltrate into Kashmir. Sources said that since Kashmir experienced less snowfall this winter, the Pakistan Army is expected to “start pushing militants across the LoC” very soon.
According to sources, “radio chatter” and reports of burials indicate that 138 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 156 others injured on the LoC due to Indian action last year. This year, they said, Pakistan is believed to have lost 20 soldiers on the LoC with seven more injured.
The Indian Army has lost nine soldiers on the LoC so far this year, and 32 last year. The Army was undertaking various types of “punitive fire along the LoC, whether it be stand-off fire, punitive fire assaults, raids or guerilla tactical operations”, as part of its counter-terrorist strategy. Consequently, they claimed, nearly two-thirds of ceasefire violations were initiated by the Indian side, along with retaliatory strikes against Pakistani action on the LoC. Moreover, Rawalpindi-based 10 Corps Commander, Lt General Nadeem Raza, visited a dozen sectors on the LoC in January to address troop morale, according to the sources.
As per the Indian government figures, there were 860 ceasefire violations on the LoC last year, and over 280 this year. The Pakistan government claims that there were 1,970 ceasefire violations by India last year and 335 this year.
Several Pakistan army posts have been destroyed in the fire assaults, with light field guns, heavy 120mm mortars and anti-tank guided missiles also coming into regular play from both sides, in areas like Balnoi, Mendhar, Kalal, Keran, Doda, Sarla, Laleali and Banwat along the 778-km LoC over the last 4-5 months.
All this comes in the backdrop of the escalating rhetoric between India and Pakistan with the two defence ministers warning each other’s country of deadly retribution as well as the scathing criticism against the Modi government by Congress and other political parties for failing to deliver on all its tough talk against Pakistan.
Shivers down Pakistan’s Spine!
Pakistan’s foreign ministry is said to have summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and condemned what it described as “unprovoked ceasefire violations” at the Battal sector on Thursday.
In a statement, Pakistan claimed that the Indian Army had “deliberately targeted a school van carrying school children on Battal-Madharpur road, resulting in the shahadat of the driver of the van, Mr. Sarfaraz Ahmed, leaving the school children severely traumatized.” The statement also warned India against committing a “strategic miscalculation”.
The terror attack on the Sunjuwan Army camp in Jammu, which left six soldiers and a civilian dead last week, has further ratcheted up tensions between the two countries. India has already lost 16 soldiers, apart from BSF personnel and civilians, in over 280 ceasefire-fire violations (CFV’s) and terror incidents in J&K this year.
But both Army chief General Bipin Rawat and Northern Command chief Lt-Gen Devraj Anbu have stressed that the Pak Army “is suffering three to four times more casualties” in the heavy exchange of cross-border firings.