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India says Pakistan Army hiring civilians to snoop on its posts

DGMO Lt Gen AK Bhatt said the support provided to terrorists by the Pakistan Army for crossing the border was the primary reason for the heavy firing from the Indian side at the Line of Control.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 19:38 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
DGMO,India Pakistan,Indian Army
Soldiers at the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.(PTI file photo)

India told Pakistan on Monday the support provided by its army to infiltrators was “unacceptable” and the Indian side will continue its “retaliatory measures” along the Line of Control (LoC) against “unabated support” given to terrorists seeking to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani director general of military operations (DGMO) Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza dialled his Indian counterpart Lieutenant General AK Bhatt, alleging that the Indian Army had carried out unprovoked firing and targeted civilians along the de facto border between the two nations.

During the unscheduled hotline interaction after lunch, Lieutenant General Bhatt also told Mirza that the neighbouring army had hired civilians to snoop on India’s forward post and it was also “providing guides” to terrorists to help them cross the LoC. He said the Pakistani army had granted permission to civilians to settle in the vicinity of their (Pakistani) posts.

“These civilians have repeatedly been used to gain information on our locations and providing guides to terrorists while crossing the LoC,” he told Mirza.

The two DGMOs or their representatives speak over the hotline to discuss LoC issues every Tuesday.

Terrorists usually make desperate attempts to sneak into the border state ahead of the onset of winter that shuts down several infiltration routes in the mountains.

“The DGMO further clarified that the Indian Army maintains impeccable standards of professionalism and does not target civilians,” an army release said.

Bhatt told Mirza that the Indian Army was committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the country’s borders, but the “prime reason for any collateral damage” was the assistance provided to terrorists by the Pakistani army.

He warned the Pakistani DGMO that the support being provided to terrorists was “unacceptable” and the army retained the right to “punitively respond to such provocative acts of aggression” by the neighbouring army.

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 17:03 IST