February 2018 News

Army Launches Coordinated Fire Assaults On LoC, Hits Pak Posts

15 February 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: With no let up in tension on the Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, Army today gave free hand to its Field Commanders on the LoC to take any steps including 'punitive fires' and 'pre-emptive actions' to tackle infiltration attempts and other kind of misadventures by Pakistani troops and militants under the cover of ceasefire violations. Sources told the Excelsior that Indian army was reported to have launched major fire assaults on the Pakistani troops along LoC especially the areas, where 'unusual activity' was observed to ensure that any attempt by Pakistan to push militants into the Indian side or indulge in 'other kind of mischief' was effectively thwarted. Indian Army has used its posts at Balnoi, Sarla, Mendhar, Laleali, Doda, Banwat, Kalal and Keran among others in Rajouri and Poonch districts to launch coordinated fire assaults in which several Pakistani army posts have been destroyed. Click here to watch video India has used Light Field Guns, heavy 120mm mortars and anti-tank guided missiles to target Pakistan posts where militants were reportedly given shelter for infiltration into the Indian territory. The massive action by India has forced Pakistan army to issue 35 red-alerts to its forces. Pakistan, according to sources, has now pressed panic buttons all along the LoC. 'The Indian Army, with all its Commanding Officer along the LoC being given adequate freedom of action, is hammering and bleeding the Pakistan army to deny it any tactical advantage of moral ascendancy along the LoC,' sources said. If India lost 32 soldiers in ceasefire violations, infiltration and other incidents along the LoC in 2017 (another 30 laid down their lives in counter-terrorism operations in the hinterland), sources said nearly 130-140 Pakistani troopers were killed in the same year. The assessment is there are over 300 terrorists (the number could be even around 400) in and around launching pads along the LoC on Pakistan side looking for an opportunity to enter into the Indian territory. 'In view of massive presence of militants along LoC, Indian troops are bracing up for 'hot summer' both on LoC and hinterland and even possibility of tension defusing on the LoC also seems to be remote. 'Full freedom has been given to commanders of Army posts along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir to effectively respond to any act of violence by Pakistani troops,' sources said. The Field Commanders, according to sources, have been asked to take 'punitive action' against Pakistan army wherever they deem it fit to check infiltration attempts or 'any other kind of misadventure' being perpetrated from across the LoC. Sources said the Indian Army has been inflicting heavy casualties on Pakistani troops while replying to Pakistani shelling along the LoC in the last few weeks. Following the attack on the Sunjuwan military station in Jammu, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman warning Pakistan had said the neighbouring country 'will pay for its misadventure'. Meanwhile, on his return from a three-day trip to Nepal, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat was today given a detailed briefing about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Army sources claimed that a total of 20 Pakistani army personnel were killed this year while the number was 138 in 2017. The sources said senior commanders of Pakistan army have been frequently visiting Pakistani posts in the last few weeks in the wake of aggressive response by India to Pakistani actions. Sources said Indian troops have used anti-tank laser guided missiles to hit Pakistani militants and other targets across LoC in response to US TOW-2 anti-tank guided missiles used by Pakistani troops in which four Army soldiers including a Captain were recently martyred. The United States of America had given US TOW-2 missiles to Pakistani for use against Taliban within Pakistan. However, instead of targeting Taliban, Pakistan has started use of US TOW-2 missiles against the Indian Army, leading to some casualties. India has taken up the issue of use of US TOW-2 missiles by Pakistan against India with the United States at the highest level, sources said. They said the Army was reported to have foiled an infiltration attempt in Padri Gali area of Mendhar sector in Poonch district this morning, which was the result of 'pro-active approach' adopted by the Army on the LoC. 'The militants were engaged on the LoC, resulting into an encounter. The infiltration attempt was successfully foiled,' they said. However, number of casualties on the militants' side was not known.