A fierce response by India may have forced Pakistan’s guns to fall silent along the border, but the men in uniform are ready to tackle any eventuality.
“We are prepared for any hostility and an increased threat from Pakistan,” General Officer-in-Command, 16 Corps, Lt Gen KH Singh told HT in an exclusive chat.
Intelligence inputs indicated “increased militant activity, increasing military movement on the Pakistani side, increased levels of violence and increased ceasefire violations,” he added. Singh is in charge of 280 km of the LoC — including Poonch and Rajouri, where the firing first started on October 1 and 2, before shifting to the International Border.
In his first interview since the latest standoff at the border, Singh said: “By activating the International Border in J&K, Pakistan is reinforcing its stand that this is disputed territory.”
Pakistan was picking on “softer targets”, including civilians and the BSF. “But the BSF is giving them a good reply,” he added. The army has reserves that aid the BSF all along the International Border.
The army’s assessments indicate that Pakistan has upped the ante. Singh said: “While the ceasefire violations are still fewer than in 2013, the intensity has gone up and so has the firepower volume.”
Singh maintained that India was exercising the maximum restraint. “For us, maintaining peace and tranquility is the stated aim. At the same time, our retaliation is solid when we are provoked,” he said.