November 2016 News

Army Chief Calls For Aggressive Approach, Alertness Along LoC

15 November 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag today called upon the troops to remain on high alert along the Line of Control (LoC) and aggressive in their approach as he reviewed situation on the LoC with top Army Commanders at Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur even while Pakistani troops shelled forward areas in Sunderbani and Pallanwalla sectors in Rajouri and Poonch districts this morning. The Army chief's call for alertness and aggression on the LoC came only a day after the troops eliminated seven Pakistan army jawans in Bhimber sector across Nowshera in Rajouri district and destroyed about half a dozen enemy posts, which had earlier targeted and were preparing to target the civilian population in border villages of Nowshera. Accompanied by the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Planning and Systems), the Army chief reached Northern Command Headquarters at Udhampur and had detailed inter-action with Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda. 'The COAS (Chief of Army Staff) visited Headquarters of Northern Command, reviewed operational preparedness, met Formation Commanders and commended efforts of soldiers,' an official statement put on twitter by the Northern Command said, adding that Lt Gen Hooda gave detailed briefing on situation prevailing along the LoC and hinterland to the Army chief. While lauding efforts of soldiers on the LoC, Gen Dalbir Singh called upon the troops to maintain high alert all along the LoC against any enemy inimical designs in Jammu and Kashmir. He also called upon the troops to stay aggressive in their approach to teach Pakistan a lesson for any misadventure on the LoC like infiltration attempts by the militants, shelling on forward Army posts and civilian areas. Sources said the Army chief was briefed by the Commanders about situation prevailing on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir especially vulnerable sectors of Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu region and Keran and Machhil in the Kashmir Valley, where Indian troops have also suffered some casualties in Pakistan shelling. Barring shelling and firing on the LoC since yesterday especially after the killing of seven Pakistan army personnel, the LoC and International Borders have been peaceful for the past few days. While IB remained calm since November 1, LoC was activated against yesterday by Pakistan army following the killing of their seven jawans. Sources said the Army chief apart from the LoC also reviewed internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir including infiltration of militants, ongoing search operations to neutralize them and keep the intrusions (by the militants) completely under check. 'The Army chief commended the soldiers for boldly responding to ceasefire violations along Line of Control. He also lauded the synergy and cooperation between the Northern Command, Air Force, para-military forces, civil administration and Central Police Organizations in the region,' an official handout issued by the Northern Command said. Though the handout didn't refer to the killing of seven Pakistan army jawans, who were eliminated across Nowshera sector on the intervening night of November 13 and 14, sources said the Army chief lauded the troops as the posts manned by these Pakistani troopers were targeting civilian areas in Nowshera sector. Meanwhile, Pakistani troops today targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and shelling for four hours along the LoC in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district, forcing Indian troops to retaliate. 'There were unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani Army in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri district from 7.10 am today,' sources said. Pakistani troops used mortar bombs and automatic weapons on Indian positions, which continued till 11 am, they said. Indian troops gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani forces to silent their guns. There was also overnight firing along LoC in Pallanwalla sector of Jammu district, bordering Sunderbani sector. Large number of Pallanwalla people have again migrated and taken shelter in safer locations. Yesterday, Pakistani troops had resorted to shelling and firing on Indian posts in four sectors along the LoC including Pallanwalla sector of Jammu, Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri and Khadi sector of Poonch district, in which two persons including a jawan and civilian were injured. The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 29.