Pakistani Defence Minister rejected India’s claim of carrying out surgical strikes, deep in its territory on Thursday morning. Speaking to ARY News, the country’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif claimed the strikes were just “routine border skirmishes”. “I am denying it (surgical strikes), it is like any other border or control line violation,” he said.
He claimed that there was ceasefire violation at five locations along the Line of Control and two soldiers were killed in the strikes. “There was a violation at five locations, they (India) did not use any big weapons just mortars. Two soldiers were killed,” Asif said.
Claiming that in the last two years India had violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement at least 30-40 times, Asif told ARY News that 13 Pakistani soldiers were killed in action.
Asif also claimed that no evidence was handed by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Uri attack. Indian probe agencies, earlier this week, revealed that the origins of the Uri attack indicates the four terrorists received help from across the border. They also identified one of the attackers and two guides, all residents of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The defence minister also alleged that India is trying to put the Kashmir issue on back-burner.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Foreign Secretary on Thursday evening summoned the Indian High Commissioner and reiterated the official claim that the “so-called surgical strikes” are untrue. He condemned the alleged “unprovoked firing” by the Indian Army that killed two Pakistani Army personnel along the Line of Control.
The statement came after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry in a joint statement announced that the Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes in various locations along the Line of Control late on Wednesday night.
India’s Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh announced that Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes in the wake of the infiltration bids by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC), including at Uri and Poonch earlier this month.
“Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads on the LoC and significant casualties have been caused,” he said adding that the Indian forces have foiled over 20 infiltration bids in the past week.