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'We will retaliate but not in haste'

chandigarh Updated: Jan 15, 2013 17:06 IST
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Echoing the sentiments of the army chief over the issue of ceasefire violation at the line of control by Pakistan, northern army commander has said that Indian Army will retaliate, but not in haste, and only after observing if things don't change.

"We reserve the right to retaliate at time and place of our choice if provoked by Pakistan. I have communicated to the field commanders and have ordered them to give a strong reply to any kind of provocation," said Lt Gen KT Parnaik, general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-n-C) northern command of Indian Army.

Talking to media persons after attending the investiture function at Akhnoor on Army Day, the commander said, "There is no war like situation on the LoC but the barbaric act by Pakistani Army on January 8, when they killed our soldiers and mutilated them, is unpardonable and in violation of the Geneva convention."

"Pakistan has been trying to provoke us time and again but out commanders and soldiers have shown enough restraint on the LoC. On the intervening night of January 13 and 14, when it was decided that a flag meeting will be held on Monday, Pakistani Army resorted to firing on our posts, which stopped when we communicated to them on the hot line," Lt Gen Parnaik said.

Lt Gen Parnaik said that even after the flag meeting on Monday, Pakistani Army fired at three different places. "Not only this, when our army chief was speaking at New Delhi, Pakistan fired few shots at our forwards posts on the LoC," he added.

The army commander did not buy the media reports and Pakistani allegation of killing a Pakistani soldier by Indian Army in Uri sector after crossing the LoC and Pakistan reacted to it and killed two Indian soldiers. "Our troops have right to retaliate but not have right to cross LoC until I order them. In Churunda village of Uri sector, it was Pakistan who fired with mortars on out post and in retaliation by our forces with small weapons, their soldier may have died," Parnaik said and gave the description of the both sides of LoC in Uri sector with couple of photographs, in which Pakistani side is covered with huge forests and Indian side is open.

Pakistan, according to those pictures is in the dominating position and chances of Indian forces crossing LoC and attacking Pakistan Army is very less. "If our soldiers had crossed over to Pakistani side, would they have come back by killing only one enemy soldier as there are around 22 Pakistani soldiers present on that post," Parnaik asked.

Showing a picture of the Pakistani Army shifting the dead body of its soldier, the army commander said, "There movement was clear to us while they were shifting the dead soldier's body. If we wanted, we would have targeted them but these are unwritten rules which we follow and we did not fire at them."

Commenting on the situation at the LoC, Parnaik said, "A hot LoC is not in the good interest of Pakistan and we ourselves do not want any violence but it does not mean that we are not capable of hitting back. We are prepared and my soldiers are ready to deliver but I have told them to remain calm."