Indian security forces on Wednesday continued to retaliate against Pakistan Rangers along the international border in Jammu sector causing around 30 casualties and heavy damage to adversary’s forward positions and bunkers, according to top Indian intelligence officials.
According to authoritative sources, India will continue to adopt a tough posture on cross-border mortar shelling in Jammu by Pakistan with troops under directions to give a “disproportionate” response to any further provocation from Islamabad. There has been no firing reported on the Line of Control or Siachen Glacier.
While Army chief General Dalbir Singh met defence minister Arun Jaitley for the third consecutive day to brief him about fresh Pakistani ceasefire violations and the Indian retaliation, the military has decided to call the Pakistani Army’s bluff on Jammu and Kashmir border to make western powers urge India for a dialogue.
Pakistan has started shelling in Alhnoor sector on Wednesday evening. On the intervening night of October 7-8, Pakistanis rained 81 mm mortars along the entire stretch of international border from Akhnoor, RS Pura, Arnia to Samba sectors, targeting 68 Indian border outposts.
One civilian was killed in Chillari village in Samba sector with another 21, including three BSF personnel, were injured. The Indian forces resorted to massive retaliation with Pakistani posts coming under heavy fire.
While the instructions from Raisina Hill to troops is to challenge firing from across the border, the Narendra Modi government’s assessment is that unprovoked Pakistani firing is part of a plan to project Kashmir as a flashpoint.
“The deliberate invite to Hurriyat before the cancelled August 25 foreign secretary talks in Islamabad, then the raising of Kashmir and plebiscite issue in Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif UNGA speech on September 26 and now heavy cross-border shelling is to push the western powers to pressurise India on to the dialogue table,” said a senior South Block official.
The other reasons for the firing, according to Indian analysts, are the changes in the Pakistani Army with the new commanders out to prove their mettle.