Ceasefire violations at LoC: As incidents increase, Pakistan's ISPR warns India against 'misadventure'

Amid the growing tensions along the Line of Control (LoC), the media wing of the ISI, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday released a statement warning India to not "cross the LoC", in an apparent sign of growing nervousness post the 1 May beheading of two jawans in the Krishna Ghati Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, The Indian Express reported.

The press release posted on the official website of the ISPR reads as following: Indian Army has been targeting innocent civilians on both sides of Line of Control in recent past. Any misadventure by Indian Army across Line of Control will be a miscalculation, shall be responded with full force and could lead to unintended consequences.

The statement came just hours after Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa visited troops along the Nikial Sector in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). During his visit, Bajwa is said to have appreciated the military's preparation and "operational readiness".

The Indian Express report added that army sources in the troubled Valley had intercepted Pakistani radio conversations, which showed their heightened sense of readiness across the LoC.

The report quoted several military sources as saying that ISPR's Saturday statement is a sign of the nervousness of the Pakistan Army to a possible retaliation by the Indian security forces to the 1 May beheadings.

Notably, Indian Army's special forces had conducted cross border "surgical strike" across the PoK on 29 September 2016, destroying several militant launchpads along the border and killing dozens of militants and two Pakistan Army soldiers.

According to the report, the Indian Army has adopted a tougher stance along the LoC in the last two weeks, using heavy weaponry and direct firing to target Pakistani posts. In response, Pakistan too has been utilising the same tactics.

File photo of the LoC. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

1 May beheading

On 1 May, the attack was carried out by the Border Action Team (BAT), which comprises the special forces, under the cover of shelling by Pakistani troops in Krishna Ghati Sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The army issued a statement saying that the bodies of an army soldier and a BSF head constable were mutilated but a senior army officer told PTI that they were beheaded.

The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22 Sikh Infantry and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th Battalion of the BSF.

Recent tensions on the border

Pakistani troops heavily shelled areas along the LoC in Rajouri district for the second consecutive day on Sunday, causing heavy damage to buildings and forcing evacuation of 1000 border dwellers. The Indian Army effectively retaliated.

Pakistan Army had on Saturday pounded civilian areas and forward posts along the LoC in Nowshera area with mortars, killing two civilians and injuring three.

Even prior to the 1 May beheading, Pakistan was involved several ceasefire.

Pakistan had violated the ceasefire seven times in April. Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire in Poonch sector on 19 April and shelled mortars on forward posts in Noushera sector on 17 April.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir by resorting to firing on forward posts on 8 April, drawing retaliation from Indian Army.

"Pakistani Army fired indiscriminately from small arms and automatic weapons from 1545 hours today on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Noushera belt of Rajouri district," a defence spokesman had said.

On 5 April, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch district by shelling forward posts with mortar bombs. On 4 April, Pakistani Army fired mortar shells on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri district. On 3 April, Pakistani troops had shelled mortar bombs on forward posts in Balakote sector of Rajouri district.

In the second ceasefire violation on 3 April, Pakistani troops had shelled Indian posts along the LoC in Digwar area in Poonch sector.

As per the reports, heavy mortar shelling in Digwar area had created a fear psychosis among the locals. In the same area, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), Naib Subedar S Sanayaima Som, was killed by an improvise explosive device (IED) blast along the LoC in Poonch sector on 1 April.

In 2016, 228 instances of ceasefire violations along the LoC were reported while there were 221 instances of ceasefire violations along International Border (IB).

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 15, 2017 13:51 PM

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