DG ISPR takes journalists to forward positions in Bhimber sector to confirm the falsehood of Indian claims of ‘surgical strikes’
Says India again started unprovoked firing on Saturday
As tensions escalate between Pakistan and India over recent ceasefire violations by India on the Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistan army on Saturday claimed that the Indian forces had suffered considerable losses due to Pakistan’s “befitting response” to the Indian firing.
Pakistan Army took a group of journalists to forward locations at the LoC in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) to prove recent Indian claims of conducting surgical strikes inside Pakistani territory a “farce”.
While briefing media at the forward location of Baghsar and Tatta Pani areas of Bhimber district, AJK, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa told reporters that the Indian claims of conducting “surgical strikes” into Pakistani territory were mere lies.
He said that Indian soldiers had lost lives in crossfire after Pakistani forces retaliated to the Indian fire. He said the Indian army was not accepting the loss of lives at their end. “We are certain that they have suffered casualties. But why they are not admitting to this is a question which needs to be put to them,” he said, adding that India was concealing the losses it had suffered due to Pakistan’s response. “It is not clear why India is hiding its losses,” the DG ISPR said, but reminded India that “war is not in anybody’s interest”.
“Pakistan Army is fully prepared to take any misadventure with more effective and strong manner. We have defended our homeland in the past, and we are committed to doing so in the future,” he added.
General Bajwa said that he himself had shared information about the two soldiers that embraced martyrdom, adding that the media freely covered their funerals and that those injured were sent to Jhelum CMH but they insisted on returning to service.
The DG ISPR said that Pakistani troops befittingly responded to unprovoked Indian firing, which started at 4.00am on Saturday and continued until 8.00am in the Bhimbher sector.
The statement came after one of the worst episodes of cross-border firing by the Indians along the LoC, which left at least two Pakistan Army soldiers martyred last week. Analysts believe that the Indian government had staged the LoC violations to distract global attention from the brutalities being committed against the freedom-seeking people of the Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK). At least 120 innocent people have been martyred in the IOK since the killing of Kashmiri freedom activist Burhan Wani, while thousands of youths and children have been injured and blinded due to the use of pellet guns.
SEEING IS BELIEVING:
“We have never brought media to these forward locations at the LoC. Now you may see for yourself: No such occurrence has taken place as claimed by India. But if any such move is made in future, it will be responded to in a befitting manner,” General Bajwa told reporters after a detailed presentation made by the general officer commanding (GOC) of Bhimber sector.
He said that India should not be under any illusion that its forces can invade even an inch of Pakistani territory. He said Pakistani forces were capable of defending their territory and knew how to protect every inch of their motherland.
Reacting to the Indian claims, the DG ISPR pointed out that if anyone had crossed the LoC he would have been visible to someone in the valley. He also made an open offer to the journalists to go anywhere in the AJK to find facts over the Indian claim of “surgical attacks”. He said that army’s helicopters were ready to take any journalist willing to verify if the Indian army had entered the Pakistani territory.
He further said that in addition to allowing the local and international media to find facts in the AJK, Pakistan had also permitted the United Nations monitors to conduct fact-finding missions inside the AJK over the LoC violations
“While we are allowing everyone to find facts, it is intriguing to note that India has neither allowed the media nor the United Nations monitors to go into the (Indian) Occupied Kashmir. What are they hiding from the world?” argued the DG ISPR.
On this occasion, the GOC also informed the journalists that no incident of intrusion by Indian army into the Pakistani territory had taken place on the night falling between September 28 and September 29 as claimed earlier by the Indian director general military operations (DGMO).
India recently claimed of airdropping 150 commandoes into Azad Kashmir to launch “surgical strikes” early Wednesday night – a claim quickly rejected by Pakistan. Indian claim started to become suspicious soon afterwards, as the Indian government changed its initial claims with its Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore telling Indian media that no aerial operations were involved in the attack.
Referring to reports of an Indian soldier having entered into Pakistani territory “inadvertently”, Bajwa said the military was “looking into the matter”.
An Indian army official based in New Delhi said, “It is confirmed that one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.” The Indian side demanded that he should be returned as per existing mechanisms. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi has confirmed the arrest of the Indian soldier, saying he was captured “while trying to enter into the Pakistani territory”.