In a major counter-offensive after Pakistan’s unprovoked firing, the Indian Army on Sunday carried out heavy artillery strikes targeting four terror launch pads and several Pakistani military positions in Neelam Valley in PoK, killing 6-10 of their soldiers and as many terrorists, Army Chief Bipin Rawat said.
The Indian retaliation came a day after the Pakistan military resorted to firing in the Tangadhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control to assist infiltration by terrorists, killing two Indian Army personnel and a civilian. Three others were also injured in the attack.
The retaliation has caused substantial harm to the terrorist infrastructure across the Line of Control (LoC), Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of an event. “So far, as per the information available with us, 6-10 Pakistani soldiers have been killed and nearly as many terrorists,” the Army Chief said, adding that more information on terrorist casualty was being obtained.
“Three terror camps have been destroyed and on the fourth one also, we have caused severe damage,” he said. If Pakistan continued with such activities, the Indian Army would not hesitate to retaliate, the Army chief asserted.
The army targeted the terror camps in Jura, Athmuqam and Kundalsahi among others in PoK using artillery guns, after credible inputs that a large number of terrorists were operating there. According to sources, 10-15 terrorists were staying in each of the facilities at the time of the attack, the most significant offensive since India carried out the Balakot strike in February.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Army Chief and has been keeping an eye on the evolving situation along the LoC, government sources said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal denied that the Indian Army targeted terror camps in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and said it can arrange a visit of diplomats from P5 nations to the area to expose Indian “falsehood”.
Spokesperson of Pakistan Military Major General Asif Ghafoor, in a series of tweets, claimed a total of five Pakistani civilians were killed in the Indian strikes. Pakistan also summoned Indian envoy Gaurav Ahluwalia to condemn the firing by Indian troops.
A senior Indian Army official rejected Ghafoor’s allegations and claims.
In a statement, the Indian Army said Pakistani Army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violations to assist infiltration by terrorists into Indian territories in the Tangadhar sector last evening.
It told the Indian Army to retain the right to react at a moment and point of its choosing in case the Pakistan Army remains to assist terrorist actions beyond Indian borders.
Rawat stated, “Ever since the abrogation of specific provisions we are getting renewed inputs regarding infiltration by terrorists from over the border.
The sources said Pakistan has been trying to push terrorists into Kashmir to trigger unrest.
Soon after the government announced its decision to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, the Army was put on high alert along the LoC to effectively repulse any possible Pakistani misadventure.
The sources told the pounding of Pakistani areas and terror camps cannot in any way be related to surgical revolutions brought out by the Indian Army in September 2016 on terror launch pads across the Line of Control.