India responds that Pak infiltration and firing would draw “appropriate retaliation”
By Ajai Shukla
4th June 17
More than a month after the killing and beheading on May 1 of two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir, near Battal in the Krishna Ghati sector, Indian posts continue their retaliation against Pakistani positions in that area.
On Monday, Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) made an unscheduled phone call to his Indian counterpart to complain against cross-border firing by Indian troops.
Pakistan Army sources say the Pakistani DGMO, Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, complained to his Indian counterpart, Lieutenant General AK Bhatt, that cross-LoC firing by Indian posts had killed and injured civilians in two places across the LoC – Battal and Chakoti.
The allegation of civilians killed is often used as the cover to tamp down on tensions and cross-border firing on the LoC.
As is the invariable practice, the Indian DGMO denied the allegations. An Indian Army press release stated today: “On the issue raised by DGMO Pak[istan] Army regarding civilian killings, DGMO Indian Army conveyed that the Indian Army is a professional army and will not harm civilians in any manner.”
At the same time, in accordance with the Indian Army’s more proactive stance on the LoC, Bhatt warned his Pakistani counterpart that “peace and tranquillity [would be] contingent on Pak Army’s intentions and actions.”
According to the Indian Army release, Bhatt conveyed the warning: “If Pak Army continues to abet infiltrations and cause trans-LC (LoC) firings, Indian Army will take appropriate retaliatory actions”.
The two DGMOs interact regularly every Tuesday in a scheduled phone call in which they discuss issues of mutual concern. The Monday phone call, which was initiated a day early at Rawalpindi’s behest, was an exceptional request that is made on matters that require immediate attention.
On May 2, the day after the killing and mutilation of two Indian soldiers sparked off the current exchanges of fire, the Indian DGMO had conveyed in the scheduled phone call that “such [a] dastardly and inhuman act is beyond any norms of civility and merits unequivocal condemnation and response”, according to an army press release that day.