Amid frequent cross-border firings along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan on Friday held DGMO-level talks to discuss issues relating the escalating tension between the two countries. Strongly condemning the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen A K Bhatt reportedly conveyed to his Pakistan counterpart that India will “retaliate appropriately” to any instances leading to the loss of lives of its jawans.
According to the Indian Army, the telephonic conversation between the DGMOs of the two countries was held on Pakistan’s insistence and Gen Bhatt has clearly conveyed that cross-border firing is initiated by the Pakistani Rangers and the Indian army has only responded to their ceasefire violations.
In a statement to the media, Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said, “DGMO-level talks at the behest of Pakistan DGMO was held on 22 Sep 17… Indian DGMO highlighted that all Cease Fire Violations in the Jammu Sector were initiated by Pak Rangers and the BSF (Border Security Force) troops deployed only responded appropriately to them. It was also emphasized that no targeted firing on civilians was carried out by own troops.”
Further stating that frequent cross-border infiltrations are impacting the internal security of the Kashmir valley, Lt Gen Bhatt told Pakistan DGMO Major Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza that the Indian Army would like to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LoC only if Pakistan puts effort to maintain it.
“The DGMO put across emphatically that the trend of infiltration along the LC continued with the active support of Pak forward posts impacting peace and tranquillity along the LC and also the internal security situation. This was evident from continued attempts of sniping and targeting of our troops undertaken through cross-border actions duly supported by Pak Army troops. DGMO reiterated that the Indian Army is a professional Army and reserves the right to retaliate appropriately to any incident leading to loss of life of our troop. He reaffirmed the sincerity in the efforts of Indian Army to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LC provided there was a reciprocal effort from Pakistan,” said the Indian Army spokesperson.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed that six of its civilians were killed and 26 others injured in an alleged ceasefire violation from the Indian troops. There had been several instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the recent days. While the total number of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Rangers were 228 in 2016, this year the numbers have steeply risen to 285 till August 1.