‘Pak terror continues in pandemic’: Army chief gen MM Naravane

Updated on Apr 18, 2020 07:03 AM IST

Naravane’s remarks came days after a ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K , the death of five Indian para-commandos and five militants in a hand-to-hand battle and the killing of three civilians.

Army Chief Gen MM Naravane(ANI photo)
Army Chief Gen MM Naravane(ANI photo)
Hindustan Times, Srinagar/Islamabad | ByMir Ehsan

On the second day of his trip to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to review the security situation in the newly created Union Territory, army chief General MM Naravane on Friday accused Pakistan of backing terrorism in the region at a time when the world has united to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and said India would not let its guard down.

Naravane’s remarks came days after a ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K , the death of five Indian para-commandos and five militants in a hand-to-hand battle and the killing of three civilians.

“While the whole world is focused towards fighting Covid-19, Pakistan-instigated terrorists have been targeting innocent civilians in the hinterland; just three days back they targeted a retired Kashmiri soldier. Therefore, we cannot let our guard down,” Naravane said.

Before ending his trip on Friday, the army chief visited forward posts in north Kashmir’s Kupwara sector and interacted with soldiers guarding the LoC.

Naravane, in an interview with a news agency, said the five terrorists killed in the battle with para-commandos had attempted infiltration taking advantage of bad weather in Keran.

Infiltration attempts in areas where the snow levels are high indicate the Pakistan Army’s complicity, he said. Naravane said in the hinterland, Pakistan-backed terrorists were targeting civilians with the aim of coercing them to follow their Azadi narrative.

He said India will respond proportionately to ceasefire violations. “Unless Pakistan gives up its policy of state sponsored terrorism, we will continue to respond with ...precision,’’ he said.

Pakistan on Friday rejected what it called the “irresponsible, spurious and totally false allegations” against Pakistan by the Indian army chief.

It also charged India with ceasefire violations. “This year alone, Indian forces...have committed over 765 ceasefire violations, resulting in shahadat of 3 civilians and serious injuries to 54,” its foreign office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said.

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