India and Pakistan held an unscheduled Director General of Military Operations-level talks on Monday afternoon after an urgent request from Islamabad. The Pakistan DGMO complained to Lieutenant General A K Bhatt that Indian forces had resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC). In his reply, the Indian DGMO said that forces had only carried out retaliatory firing in response to the unabated support given by the Pakistan Army to terrorists.
“Indian Army will continue retaliatory measures and retain right to punitively respond to ceasefire violations. Support for terrorism by the Pakistan Army is unacceptable,” Bhatt told his Pakistani counterpart.
The Indian DGMO told his Pakistani counterpart that while the Indian Army will continue its efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity on the borders, the support provided to the terrorists by the Pakistan Army was the prime reason for any “collateral damage”.
Bhatt also said that Indian Army always maintained impeccable standards of professionalism and did not target civilians on the other side of the border. “On the contrary, Pakistan Army has employed civilians at the forward posts and accorded permission for permanent locations of civilians in the vicinity of Pakistan Army posts,” the Army said.
The Army said that these civilians have repeatedly been used for gaining information of locations of Indian troops and providing guides to the terrorists while crossing the LoC. The LoC in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops and the Indian Army has been retaliating effectively to Pakistani actions.
Last week, Pakistan had summoned India’s deputy high commissioner for the fourth time this month over “ceasefire violations” by Indian troops along the LoC. Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal claimed that Indian forces had carried out more than 1,150 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary this year, resulting in the death of 49 civilians.