Jammu: As many as 513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one-and-a-half month while the Pakistan Army has suffered five to six times more casualties than the Indian Army in retaliatory action, a senior army officer said on Saturday.
The Pakistan Army used heavy weaponry like mortars and artillery guns more than 100 times during these violations and targeted civilian areas but was given a befitting response by the Indian Army, General Officer Commanding (GOC) White Knight Corps Lt Gen Paramjit Singh told reporters in Rajouri.
“Only yesterday (Friday), four civilians, including two girls, were injured in Poonch,” the GOC said.
Responding to a question about the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action, he said unlike the Indian Army, Pakistan does not announce the number of its casualties.
“However, as per our sources, the Pakistan Army suffered five to six times more casualties than the casualties on our side,” Lt Gen Singh said.
Ten people, including four security personnel, have been killed and nearly 45 others, mostly civilians, injured in the twin districts since India’s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
On the sniping incidents from across the border, Lt Gen Singh said such incidents had come to a naught over the past several months, especially after the Balakot strike.
“Some incidents of sniping took place earlier and accordingly we have taken some measures to strengthen our defence. As per the data this year, only three incidents of sniping by the Pakistan Army were reported from January to February 26 in which one of the fatalities include a civilian porter,” he said.
“There was no sniping incident from February 27 till date, which means the steps taken by us have been successful,” the officer said.
He said the morale of the troops is very high and as long as they are deployed on the borders, the people of the country need not worry.
“They have every kind of weaponry and explosives with them and their resolve is rock solid and always prepared for any challenge. As long as they are on the border, you are safe,” he said.
When asked for a comment on politics being played in the name of soldiers during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, he said the Army does not want to get into the debate.
Lt Gen Singh also said that the Indian Army would not allow revival of terrorism in Jammu region, including in the mountainous Kishtwar district which has witnessed killing of four persons including two senior leaders of BJP and RSS since November last year.
“The incidents which had happened in Kishtwar in the recent past are a matter of concern. The enemy always try to revive terrorism in the areas where it was wiped out but we are ready for the challenge and I want to assure the people if the intention is to revive terrorism, we will not allow it to happen,” the officer said interacting with media persons in Rajouri district.
Lt Gen Singh said that intelligence agencies, police and army had worked out a strategy to deal with the situation in Kishtwar.
“Some people were already rounded up (in connection with the latest killings) and the operation is going on there (Kishtwar) at the moment,” he said.
When his attention was drawn to the weapon snatching incident, arrest of some militants with weapons and recovery of huge consignment of drugs in Poonch and Rajouri district last year, he said the enemy would always try to ensure that there is no peace anywhere in the state.
“Such attempts continue on the part of the enemy but we failed their nefarious design with the joint efforts and the support of the public,” he said.
In response to another question about the status of militancy in J&K post the Balakote airstrike, he said, “The leadership of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit was eliminated in the Kashmir valley.”
“As far as Jammu region is concerned, it has not witnessed any major militant activity before or after the airstrike,” he said.