Indian Army's attack on Pakistani bunkers along LoC in Nowshera could escalate tension between neighbours

The most recent targeted strikes were carried out by the Indian Army on more than four Pakistani posts right on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Nowshera sector in Jammu region when troops stationed inside these posts were trying to provide cover fire to militants trying to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Indian Army spokesperson Major General Ashok Narula said Pakistan Army has been supporting armed infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted attacks have been carried out to put an end to such activities.

Narula told reporters in New Delhi that it was a “proactive counter-terrorism operations” in order to maintain peace and stability in the region, and stop the youth of Jammu and Kashmir from being getting influenced by the militants coming in from across the border.

"Pakistan army has been providing support to armed infiltrators by engaging forward troops... closer to the LoC. At times, they have not even hesitated to target villages," Narula said. "It is essential to bring down the number of incidents in Jammu and Kashmir so that the youth are not influenced," he added.

Although, it has been normal for troops of both the countries to trade fire, for years, the admission by the Indian Army that it targeted posts could escalate the tensions along the 740-km-long LoC, which has witnessed major tensions following the beheading of two soldiers allegedly by Pakistan Army's Border Action Team (BAT) on 1 May.

"The shelling from the Pakistani side started in Ans Bhandaar area of Nowshera sector in Rajouri district, which led to the displacement of 2,313 people (583 families) from 11 villages along the LoC area,” Shahid Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, told Firstpost. "All the people were provided shelter and accommodation in safer areas," he added

The Indian Army has for years admitted the number of causalities it suffered along the LoC and the working International Border in Jammu. But rarely admitted openly of carrying out targeted strikes along the LoC, which is likely to escalate the tension between the two neighbouring countries to a new height.

On Monday, Firstpost had reported that security forces were expecting more encounters and gun fights in the Valley as militants, waiting across the LoC, gear up for the snow to melt so that they can infiltrate India.

The Indian Army has strengthened technical intelligence gathering infrastructure to track the movement of the militants and stop them from entering the Valley. It has, so far, yielded tremendous results and helped the forces keep a tab on the militants waiting at launching pads across the LoC in the Kashmir region.

Of the 371 attempts made by the militants to infiltrate the Valley in 2016, only 119 were successful. The numbers have drastically gone down this year, with not even two-dozen militants attempting infiltration in the first four months.

Narula said that the posts, which were aiding infiltration of militants, were identified and destroyed. "Infiltrations are likely to increase with the melting of snow and the opening of passes," he added.

With temperatures expected to rise in Kashmir in coming days, there is going to be even more heat at the borders as Pakistan pushes more militants into the already simmering Valley.

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Updated Date: May 23, 2017 17:26:40 IST