Rawalpindi: The Pakistan Army is certain it “caused casualties” on the Indian side of the de facto border, Line of Control, “in response to” the cross-border firing by Indian troops which killed two Pakistani soldiers, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said on Saturday.
The general addressed media in Baghsar area of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) “close to LoC”.
“It is first time anyone, not from army, has come so close (to LoC),” Gen Bajwa told media men.
Bajwa said he did not know whey India is “hiding its losses”.
The ISPR chief said, “the military responded befittingly to Indian firing across the Line of Control (LoC).” However, he added, “war is not in anybody’s interest.”
Visibly surprised, Gen said, “how is it possible to drop commandos so low in our part and no one could know about it.”
“Paratroopers are dropped from choppers,” he said, “Indian army said that they killed people after coming inside three to ten KMs. Have they killed people by flowers that we have seen no funerals?” He said that whole local populace is living normal life. “The people are here, but where are the dead bodies,” he asked.
Indian Army on Sep 29 said that its men carried out “surgical strikes along LoC in PaK and caused significant damages across the de facto border” during the intervening night of Sep 28 & 29. However, Pakistan maintained that it was “routine ceasefire violation by Indian troops”. Similar view has been upheld by United Nations saying that its observer groups in India and Pakistan are collecting details about “ceasefire violations”.
“We have brought have you (media) here,” Gen told media, “to know the ground facts.” He even offered media to walk around and meet army men and local residents of the five areas where the “surgical strikes” were carried according to Delhi.
“We have defended our homeland and we are committed to do so in the future,” he added.
Referring to high density anti-infiltration systems installed along LoC, Gen Bajwa, “how come it is possible that someone comes in, infiltrates (LoC) and goes back.”
“It is Pakistan Army manning the LoC who have best track record on war on terror,” he said. “They claimed that they came here, killed people and it is surprising that no one knows,” he said.
Gen questioned as why India is not along UNMOGIP and media to visit the LoC close to the spot where it claims have carried out the attack “to know the facts”.
Bajwa said that none of Pakistan army rangers were injured. “They had minor injuries that they are back to their duties,” he said. “Two of our men were martyred in the firing and shelling.”
Referring to reports of an Indian soldier having entered into Pakistani territory “inadvertently”, Bajwa said the military is “looking into the matter”.
While the Indian side maintained its soldier “inadvertently crossed into Pakistan and should be returned as per existing mechanisms”, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi has said he was captured “while trying to enter into Pakistani territory”.
Responding to a question, he said that UNMOGIP visits seven stations from PaK side. “Let them come and hold independent investigation,” Gen Bajwa said, “there are four (such) stations from the other side but they don’t allow them to come out of Delhi itself.” (KL)
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