New Delhi September 29 (NIA): India said on Thursday, that its armed forces have carried out “surgical strikes’ targeting terrorist “launch pads” in Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. The strike was carried out Wednesday night, senior military and diplomatic sources informed the media at a hurriedly called media briefing at the Ministry of External Affairs.
Even as it struck, India said that it has no intention to continue the operations and sought Pakistan army’s help to stamp out the terrorist menace.
On its part, Pakistan made light of the Indian claim and said what had happened was routine cross-border firing in a number of places which the Indians have been describing as a “surgical strike” at alleged militant camps for propaganda purposes.
But the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the Indian attack seriously and described the strike as “naked aggression” which Pakistan will meet.
The Indian army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt.Gen.Ranbir Singh said that based on very specific and credible information received on Wednesday that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves along the Line of Vontrol, India Army carried out surgical strikes last night at these launch pads.
“The operations were focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in endangering lives of citizens in our country. During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who were trying to support them. The operations have since ceased,” Gen. Singh said.
He sought the support of the Pakistan Army in erasing the menace of terrorism.
“We do not have any plans to continue. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any contingency which may arise. I have spoken to Pakistani DGMO and expressed our concern. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region but we cannot certainly allow terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack our citizens,” the Indian DGMO.
The attack was carried out following the September 18 terror strike in Uri that claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers. Gen.Singh pointed out that during the investigation of the terror attack, the proof of the involvement of Pakistani elements was clearly discovered.
India tried to solve the situation from the Uri attack at the diplomatic level but did not receive an adequate response, he said.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Indian army officials briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the security situation at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. A meeting the Prime Minister was due to hold on reviewing the MFN status to Pakistan was postponed to next week, The Hindu reported.
In a statement on its website, the Director General –Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) of the Pakistani army said that there had been a major exchange of fire overnight, in which two Pakistani rangers were killed.
“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors which started at 0230 and continued till 0800” the Pakistani military spokesperson claimed.
Responding to Indian government’s statement that security forces conducted a surgical strike across Line of Control on Wednesday night, Pakistan said there has been no such strike.
“Instead, there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is an existential phenomenon. As per rules of engagement, same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops,” said a Pakistan government statement.
Pakistan said: “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects. This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is fabrication of truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, same will be strongly responded.
“Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces resulting in martyrdom of two Pakistani soldiers along the LOC.
“The PM has paid rich tributes to the martyred jawans and said that our intent for peaceful neighbourhood should not be mistaken as our weakness as our valiant forces are fuly capable of defending the teretotrial integrity of country and can thwart any evil design made to undermine the sovereignty of Pakistan,” the Pakistan government said.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been briefed on the strikes, IANS reports quoting sources. Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti have also been briefed, the report adds.
Congress MLA Randeep Surjewala said that the Indian National Congress “wholeheartedly supports the surgical strike on terror pads in POK by Indian Army. Salute the valour of our armed forces.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Bengal, Odisha, CPI-Marxist’s Sitaram Yechury and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad about the surgical strikes.