India on Thursday said that its Army conducted surgical strikes at several terrorist launch pads to preempt along the Line of Control early in the morning, an assertion that has been incoherently challenged by various quarters in Pakistan.
The strikes were based on receiving specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control to carryout infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu & Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Director General Military Operations, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, said.
The purpose was to preempt infiltration by terrorists, he added. “The operations were focused on ensuring that these terrorists do not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens.”
During these counter-terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them, Singh said. “We do not have any plans for further continuation. However, the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise.”
According to media reports, around three dozen terrorists were killed in the strikes, along with two soldiers of the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Army has admitted to the death of two of its soldiers.
“I have been in touch with Pakistan Army DGMO and have informed him of our actions,” Singh said. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region. But we cannot allow terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack citizens of our country at will.
In line with Pakistan’s commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for attacks against India, we expect the Pakistani Army to cooperate with us to erase the menace of terrorism from the region, Singh said.
Pakistan’s response to the situation was confused. Or it should be called responses. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while condemning the strikes by India and admitting that two Pakistani soldiers died in it, said, “Our intent for peaceful neighborhood should not be mistaken as our weakness as our valiant forces are fully capable of defending the territorial integrity of our country.”
His arch-rival and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf or PTI chairperson Imran Khan, however, found his (Sharif’s) response to be week. Khan vowed to give a befitting reply to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, something which Sharif was incapable of.
Khan’s reaction was in sharp contrast to the solidarity that all political parties in India showed with the Modi government.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif denied any surgical strikes and claimed that it was an instance of cross-border firing. The Pakistan Army, the country’s most powerful and important institution, also maintained that there were no surgical strikes.
In fact, the Pakistan Army claimed that it was able to capture an Indian soldier, a claim rubbished by the Indian Army.