The army said on Monday they found evidence that suggested Pakistan’s “complicity” in an attack in which three Indian soldiers were killed --- and one of the bodies was mutilated --- in Jammu and Kashmir’s Machhil about a week ago.
On Twitter, the army’s Northern Command posted two photographs -- one of a pair of night-vision goggles with ‘US government property’ marked on it and the other of supplies with ‘Pakistan’ marked on them.
Among the supplies was a roll of gauze that had ‘Pakistan defence forces’ written on the package. Food items and disposable food cans were also found in the area, all carrying Pakistan’s markings.
On November 22, three soldiers were killed in Machhil sector along the Line of Control, the de-facto border, in Kupwara district . One of the soldier’s bodies was found mutilated, the second such incident in a month.
As the Indian Army pledged to exact a “heavy” retribution, Pakistani authorities said 11 civilians and three soldiers were killed in shelling by Indian forces the next day. Later, the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries held an “unscheduled hotline interaction” at Pakistan’s request.
- The army has suggested Pakistan’s complicity in the killing of three soldiers along the disputed border on November 22, a claim that can further deteriorate ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
- After the attack in Machhil, Indian forces retaliated, as Pakistan claimed 11 civilians and 3 of their soldiers were killed in the counter-assault.
Ties between New Delhi and Islamabad have hit a low in the aftermath of an attack on an Indian Army base in northern Kashmir’s Uri that killed 19 soldiers in September. New Delhi blamed the brazen assault on Pakistan-based militants, a charge Islamabad promptly denied.
The Indian Army also said it carried out surgical strikes on militant bases across the LoC in response to the Uri attack. Since then, repeated ceasefire violations at the border and civilian deaths on both sides have added to the tension.