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‘Insufficient evidence’ on Kulbhushan Jadhav, concedes Sartaj Aziz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today admitted that the government was presented with only “insufficient evidence” on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who is under detention.Addressing a full Senate chamber, Aziz said the dossier on Jadhav contained mere statements. “It did not have any conclusive evidence,” he was quoted as saying by the Geo TV. “What the dossier contained was not enough. Now it is up to the concerned authorities how long they take to give us more matter on the agent,” Aziz said.Jadhav, who was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran, has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country. Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav, who said he was the serving Indian Navy officer. India has acknowledged Jadhav as a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government.

J&K: 7 army personnel, 6 terrorists killed in two attacks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two major terror attacks rocked Jammu region on Tuesday in which seven army personnel, including a Major, were killed and eight other security men, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in the separate fierce encounters.In one incident, a group of heavily-armed terrorists in police uniform stormed an army unit in Nagrota, about three kms from the Corps headquarters on the outskirts of Jammu city this morning, triggering an intense gun battle that lasted for hours. Seven army personnel, including two officers, were killed in this attack before three terrorists were killed in an armed stand-off which also involved a hostage-like situation with 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children being held captive. All were rescued, army spokesman said.Three terrorists were gunned down by BSF in Ramgarh area of Samba near the International Border after an encounter that lasted several hours and was followed by intense cross-border firing by Pakistani troops. Four security personnel, including BSF DIG, were injured in this incident.The two terror incidents in Jammu came on a day Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa took over as Chief of Pakistan Army from Gen Raheel Shareef. Giving details of the Nagrota attack, army spokesman said in the early hours of Tuesday, a group of heavily-armed terrorists, disguised in police uniform, targeted the army unit located three kms from the Corps Headquarters.”The terrorists forced their entry into the Officers’ Mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries,” the spokesman said. “In the initial counter action, one officer and three soldiers of the army were martyred,” he added.The terrorists entered two buildings which were occupied by officers, families and men, which “led to a hostage-like situation”, he said. “The situation was very quickly contained and thereafter, in a deliberate operation, all were successfully rescued, which included 12 soldiers, two ladies and two children,” the spokesman said. “However, in this rescue attempt, one more officer and two jawans sacrificed their lives,” he added.In the gunbattle, three terrorists were killed. “Bodies of three terrorists have been recovered and operations are in progress to santise the complete area,” the spokesman said.

Nagrota attack: Strike near 16 Corps HQ shows proxy war is only just starting

The proxy war attack close to the Indian Army’s 16 Corps headquarters in the Jammu region has several lessons for us. The most obvious of these is that a lot more violence lies ahead.

Just the other day, a top officer rued the fact that the Centre still does not seem to realise the seriousness of the challenge in Jammu and Kashmir. We are already in the middle of another proxy war. The ‘surgical strikes’ did absolutely nothing to halt Pakistan’s unfolding war plans. There have been major attacks in Baramulla, Srinagar and now at Samba (again) and Nagrota (where the Corps is headquartered). Like those other attacks, this one has gone on far longer than it would have in the very worst phase (1999 to 2001) of the earlier proxy war. Three army men had been killed at Nagrota in the first five hours of the attack on Tuesday.

Army personnel take position during the encounter after militants attacked an army camp in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday morning. PTI

Army personnel take position during the encounter after militants attacked an army camp in Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu on Tuesday morning. PTI

Such attacks will not only continue, they will get much worse — probably next summer, when we can depend on one trigger or another to cause public demonstrations in tandem with the attacks. It is a multi-pronged war, with fronts at the Line of Control and at any point where militants decide to strike.

And these attackers typically have far more sophisticated military training than most of the militants who operated in Kashmir in the early and mid-1990s.

Another thing that has become clear over the past couple of years is that this proxy war is being engaged across the Kashmir and the Jammu regions, and neighbouring districts of Punjab such as Gurdaspur and Pathankot too.

For a while a couple of years ago, Pakistan had tried hard to stoke the fires of the Khalistan movement afresh. That did not catch, but this has not deflected Pakistan from its war effort in the north.

Indeed, a very senior member of the Jammu and Kashmir government expressed what is unfolding in dire terms. Pakistan wants to turn Kashmir into ‘another Afghanistan’, he said — referring to the violence and chaos that has become commonplace in various parts of that country over the past three decades.

In this context, those who crow over the ‘return of normalcy’ in Kashmir are shameless propagandists trying to conjure a fool’s paradise.

Taking a cruise or other vacation to celebrate ‘peace’ not only highlights how little has been learnt over the years about how things unfold in Kashmir, we are witnessing deep cynicism. For, those who allowed the situation to deteriorate when it could have been controlled in the second half of July ought to be working in overdrive now to sort things out at the ground level, when they have a (probably brief) window of opportunity.

One of the factors that those who claim peace have pointed out is the change in guard in the Pakistan Army. They say it is a positive sign, having seized on a remark of the new army chief, General Javed Ashraf Bajwa, that extremism is a more serious threat to Pakistan than any threat from India.

The fact is that he is only stating the obvious.

It does not mean he intends to suspend militant operations in Kashmir. A senior Indian Army officer pointed out that the apparently less aggressive mien of Pakistan’s new army chief did not mean that the basic anti-India institutional disposition of the Pakistan Army has changed.

Analysts will get nowhere unless they focus on the fact that we are already in the middle of a  proxy war. We have been for some time now. Indeed, things have been gradually unfolding towards the strategic challenge for the past eight years.

With apologies to propagandists of various hues, one must acknowledge the unfortunate fact that the near future seems very bleak.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 12:57 IST

Need to be careful: ex-Indian army chief Bikram Singh on new Pak army chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Army Chief Bikram Singh, under whom the new Pakistan Army Chief Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has served on a UN assignment, tonight said India should be “careful” and watchful with regard to his approach.Gen (retd) Singh described Lt Gen Bajwa as a “thorough professional” who gave an “outstanding performance” under him in Congo but said things change once an officer goes back to his home country. “There might be great bonhomie when the goal is world peace under UN mandate but things change once you go back to your country. This is because your national interest comes first,” Gen Singh told PTI. He said India should wait and watch and be “careful”.Asked if he sees any drastic change in Pakistani military policy once Lt Gen Bajwa takes over succeeding Gen Raheel Shareef who retires on November 30, he said, “I do not see any change”.Gen Singh hoped that Lt Gen Bajwa will continue to consider homegrown extremism as a greater threat than India as he has publicly said.The new Pakistan Army chief has wide experience of LoC affairs due to his extensive involvement with PoK and Northern Areas. “He has served in all these areas (bordering India) and knows pretty well what kind of terrain and conditions exist on both sides.

Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner for the third time this week

Islamabad: Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh for the third consecutive day on Wednesday to condemn “unprovoked ceasefire violations” at the LoC and claimed Indian troops were “intentionally” targeting civilian areas.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Director-General (South Asia and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Singh and strongly condemned the ceasefire violations by Indian troops in Dhudnial sector “by intentionally targeting a civilian bus”, resulting in the death of nine civilians and injuries to another nine, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

This was the third time Singh was called in by Pakistan to lodge a protest over the ceasefire violations at the LoC. On Monday — and then on Tuesday — he was summoned.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan Army said seven persons, including three of its soldiers, were killed in an exchange of fire with Indian troops on the LoC.

The clash occurred a day after India warned of retribution after losing three soldiers in Pakistan firing and after Pakistan yesterday rejected as “false” and “baseless” the charges that the body of an Indian soldier was mutilated by Pakistani soldiers in a cross LoC-attack.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in a series of tweets had said the reports about the mutilation were aimed at maligning Pakistan.

Indian and Pakistani DGMOs also talked today in an “unscheduled” hotline interaction during which the “unethical” act of mutilation of bodies of Indian soldiers by “terrorists” was raised. The interaction between the military officers was requested by Pakistan after the Indian action at the LoC.

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 10:02 IST

India issues demarche to Pakistan over continued ceasefire violations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has issued a demarche to Pakistan on continued violation of ceasefire along the LoC and strongly condemned increased concentration of terrorists observed across the border in the vicinity of Pakistani forward posts.The Ministry of External Affairs called in a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission on Wednesday and made a demarche on the continued violation of ceasefire along the Line of Control, the ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday.This is the third such demarche this month. “We conveyed that despite calls for restraint, Pakistan forces have committed twelve ceasefire violations between 9 and 15 November, 2016 during which Pakistan Army deliberately resorted to calibre escalation by employing artillery and 120 millimetre heavy mortars against Indian posts. “These violent acts constitute a clear violation of the Ceasefire Agreement of 2003,” Sawrup said. A counsellor rank officer from the Pakistan High Commission was called in.
ALSO READ Ceasefire violation: Jawan dies, 4 others injured in Pakistan shelling in NowsheraIndia has also conveyed its strong condemnation of the “increase in concentration of terrorists observed across the Line of Control in the vicinity of Pakistani forward posts. During the last week alone, there have been 18 instances when terrorists attempted to infiltrate into the Indian side from the vicinity of Pakistani posts and also targeted Indian posts and patrols,” the spokesperson said.Government has also protested the “deliberate” targeting by the Pakistan Army of 14 villages along the LoC during nine to 15 November, 2016 which has resulted in four fatal and 25 non-fatal casualties, besides extensive damage to public and private property and displacement of civilian population, he said.
ALSO READ J&K: 9 civilians, including 2 children, killed in ceasefire violation by PakistanIndia also reiterated the concerns of the government about the safety and well-being of Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan, who inadvertently crossed the LoC over six weeks back, and sought his early and safe repatriation.

Pakistan claims to have killed at least 11 Indian soldiers at LoC

Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday claimed that his troops killed at least 11 Indian jawans the day seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC) General Raheel said this in an informal chat with journalists in the President House where a banquet was organised by the President in honour of visiting Turkish President.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“The day seven of our soldiers were martyred on the border, we killed at least 11 Indian soldiers,” he claimed.

He claimed that Pakistan has killed “40-44 Indian troops” in the current clashes but the Indian army was refusing to accept and own its casualties.

General Raheel said India should “show courage” and own the deaths of its security personnel.

“The Indian army should man up and accept their losses,” he said.

He said Pakistan army was professional force and was accepting its “casualties” while giving befitting response to “unprovoked” firing.

The army chief, who is set to retire later this month, said a message has been conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his “aggressive actions” will not bear any results.

Pakistan had claimed that seven of its soldiers were killed at the LoC in an alleged ceasefire violation by Indian troops on 13 November.

It was a rare direct media talk by the Pakistani COAS who normally avoids media and lets the media wing of army to interact with journalists.

First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 08:24 IST

India lodges strong protest with Pakistan over mutilation of soldier

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Wednesday summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and registered a strong protest over the mutilation of the body of an Indian soldier by a terrorist who escaped across the Line of Control. Shah was conveyed the Government’s grave concern and a strong protest was lodged at the recent escalation in the incidents of ceasefire violations by the Pakistan side at the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB), which have resulted into several fatalities and casualties on the Indian side among civilians and security forces personnel.The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was conveyed the Government’s expectation that Pakistan will not take any step inimical to peace along the LoC and IB and to the security of India.This development comes after the Centre had assured that the MEA will take cognizance of this heinous development, while adding that nothing could be more atrocious than this.”Nothing can be more atrocious than this. The human rights of soldiers should enjoy precedence over the human rights of anybody else,” Minister of State (MoS) Jitendra Singh said.Speaking to ANI, the Union Minister stated that the barbaric killing of the army jawan is an eye opener for all those who keep raising the bogey of human rights, especially in Kashmir and added that the MEA and the Defence Ministry will take cognizance of the sequence of events.On October 28th, in an encounter close to the Line of Control in the Machhal sector, an Indian Army soldier lost his life and a terrorist was neutralised.The Indian Army promised retribution after the terrorists mutilated the jawan’s body, apparently beheading him, before fleeing back into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of firing provided by the Pakistan Army.”One militant was also killed in the gun-battle. But the despicable act of mutilating the jawan’s body reflects the barbarism pervading in official and unofficial organisations in Pakistan,” said the Army spokesperson.”The terrorists managed to escape due to the covering fire provided to them from the Pakistan Army posts. The incident will be responded to appropriately,” he added.The soldier was identified as Manjeet Singh of 17 Sikh Light Infantry.

Pakistan violates ceasefire, resorts to fresh shelling along LoC in Rajouri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violating the ceasefire, Pakistani troops on Wednesday shelled areas along the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector of Rajouri district.The latest ceasefire violation comes a day after eight civilians, including two children were killed and 22 others injured in heavy shelling by Pakistani troops.The Defence PRO said, “There was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in BG sector from 1230 hours today.”They fired from automatic weapons and lobbed 82 mm mortar bombs, he said, adding that the Indian troops gave a befitting reply.Along the International Border (IB), there were no reports of firing and shelling during the night.”No firing incident was reported on IB of Jammu since night,” PRO BSF said.In view of the relentless shelling, the Jammu and Kashmir government has closed over 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region.A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 80 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu since surgical strikes against terror launch pads by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.BSF had yesterday said that 14 Pakistani posts were destroyed in retaliatory action by its troops along International Border (IB) in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Jammu frontier.

J&K: Encounter underway in Kupwara; security forces tipped off about terrorists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An encounter began in Drugmulla of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday afternoon. One or two terrorists are believed to be in the area, ANI reported. According to NDTV, security forces were tipped off about terrorists and, as a result, launched an operation to find them. More details are awaited.On Saturday, the Indian Army on Saturday had launched retaliatory fire assaults at Pakistan Army positions, inflicting damage across the border by destroying four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran Sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.This came in the wake of the death of an Indian soldier who was killed on Friday. His body was mutilated by terrorists in an attack near the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. The army had said “the incident will be responded to appropriately”, adding the attackers had fled into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir “under the cover of heavy firing by Pakistan army”. Sepoy Mandeep Singh, who died in the attack, was 27 years old. One terrorist was killed in the strike.

BSF not to exchange sweets with Pak Rangers at Attari border this Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, the Border Security Force (BSF) will not be exchanging sweets with the Pakistan Rangers at the Attari-Wagah Border on the occasion of Diwali on Sunday. This move by the BSF is in protest to the growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border.Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since. The Indian Army yesterday launched retaliatory fire assaults at Pakistan Army positions, inflicting massive damage across the border by destroying four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran Sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.An Indian soldier was also killed on Friday and his body was mutilated by terrorists in an attack near the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. The army had said “the incident will be responded to appropriately”, adding the attackers had fled into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir “under the cover of heavy firing by Pakistan army”. Sepoy Mandeep Singh, who died in the attack, was 27 years old. The attack took place under cover fire provided by the Pakistan Army. One terrorist was killed in the strike.On October 21, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

Pakistan’s mutilation of Indian jawan: Smoking peace pipe with barbarians never paid dividends

We can all pretend to be uppity about Pakistan’s repeated breach of the Geneva Convention but the point is, to expect a nation that uses terrorism as a state policy to uphold the sanctity of law is illusory and self-defeating. The mutilation of Manjeet Singh’s body is a grim reminder that unless India substantially raises the cost of Pakistan’s delinquent behaviour, the rogue republic will continue to unleash atrocities against us.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

There is a sad sense of déjà vu in India’s handling of Pakistan. It doesn’t matter if the government at the Centre is leftist, rightist or centrist. Each head of Indian state suffers from an illusory notion, aided by an army of entitled influencers with deep ties to the enemy state, that relationship with Pakistan can be and should be stabilized and the onus of doing it lies with us.

Therefore, every act of atrocity that the unstable, terror-sponsoring nation inflicts on us is followed by a predictable pattern. We outrage, foam at the mouth, try some maneuvers which have long exhausted their sell-by date and then eventually settle into a prolonged ennui followed by renewed attempts at restoring ties.

And we are doomed to repeat this fallacious cycle as long as we do not realize that Pakistan is not a modern Westphalian nation-state. It is the original Islamic State that seeks to spread Islamism as a politico-religious-cultural movement with the stated goal of establishing a Caliphate. This explains its lust for Kashmir and why it shall remain congenitally opposed to the pluralistic, multicultural, heterogeneous, secular idea of India and consider the fight against ‘Hindustan’ a holy war, or jihad.

And because the existence of Pakistan as an idea depends on continuing this perpetual jihad against India (a point author C Christine Fair elaborated in her seminal work Fighting To the Finish), any Indian overtures for peaceful relationship is bound to fail. If we as a nation do not understand it, the fault the lies with us, not history.

We only have to turn over the pages to recall that soon after Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus-full of goodwill and Bollywood stardust to Lahore in 1999, he was answered with Kargil and a hijacked Air India flight. And few would forget the bestiality of Pakistan Army in treating our war heroes during Kargil. In gross violation of Geneva Convention, the barbarians subjected Captain Saurabh Kalia and his unit to horrendous torture.

As a News18 report recalls, Captain Kalia and his sepoys’ “ear drums were pierced with hot iron rods, eyes punctured and genitals cut off. The autopsy of the bodies also revealed that they were burned with cigarettes butts. Their limbs were also chopped off, teeth broken and skull fractured during the torture. Even their nose and lips were cut off.”

Pakistan still maintains that the bodies of these Indian soldiers were found in a pit where they ostensibly died due to “inclement weather”.

Treatment of PoWs or showing respect to the dead in war is accorded the highest importance under Geneva Convention. In an article on crimes of war, H Wayne Elliott writes: “The treatment of the battlefield dead can be divided into two aspects. First, there is a prohibition on deliberate mistreatment of the body, either through failure to treat it with appropriate respect or through mutilation. Second, there is a prohibition on pillaging the dead. These mandates concerning the dead are as much derived from the customary laws of war as from the Geneva Conventions.

To understand why Pakistan’s BAT (Border Action Team, an amalgam of its army and pet terrorists) killed and then apparently beheaded Manjeet Singh of 17 Sikh Light Infantry, we must recognise that the situation has to come to such a pass because for far too often the Pindi Khakis have been rewarded for their bad behaviour. If a criminal is paid handsomely for crimes what else can we expect except a recurring nightmare?

As The Times of India had reported back in January 2013, bodies of Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles were found in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir in a badly mutilated state.

“Although the Indian Army did not give more details of the barbarism, sources said the retreating Pakistani soldiers had chopped off the head of one of the Indian soldiers and taken it back with them.”

This is why the surgical strikes on 29 September and its public acknowledgment by the Narendra Modi government were crucial. It broke the template and introduced an element of unpredictability in Indian response. The Army has already reiterated that Pakistan Army will get “an appropriate response” for their bestiality and callous disregard for all norms. But we must not stop there. The punishment from India should be brutal and swift because barbarians only understand the language of violence.

BSF jawan killed while retaliating to ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Macchil sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A BSF jawan was killed accidentally while he was retaliating to ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Macchil sector along the Line of Control in Kashmir. BSF constable Nitin Subhash sustained grievous injuries on Friday evening when an explosion inside the chamber of the long range weapon led to a recoil while he was firing in retaliation to ceasefire violation from across the LoC, BSF IG (Kashmir) Vikash Chandra said.”Subhash was injured due to recoil and was admitted to a medical facility where he succumbed late last night,” the official said.Earlier, a top BSF official had said that the jawan was killed on Saturday in firing by Pakistani troops.28-year-old Subhash, hailing from Sangli in Maharashtra, had joined BSF in 2008 and is survived by his wife and two sons aged four years and two years. Pakistan Rangers also violate ceasefire in RS Pura and Kathua sectors along International Border on Saturday.In Macchil sector, terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, had last night crossed the Line of Control in the sector. They killed an Indian army jawan and mutilated his body prompting the Indian army to warn that “the incident will be responded to appropriately”.Four army and three BSF personnel have died in the latest escalation along the boundary with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. In Friday night’s attack, one militant was also killed. “In an encounter close to the Line of Control this evening, one solider was martyred and one terrorist was killed. The terrorists mutilated the body of the jawan before fleeing back into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of firing by Pakistan Army,” an army spokesman had said. He said the incident reflected the barbarism pervading in official and unofficial organisations in Pakistan.Two civilians were also killed and as many injured on Friday after Pakistani troops pounded civilian areas and forward India posts with 120 mm mortar shells and automatic weapons in Jammu, Kathua, Poonch and Rajouri districts. BSF on Friday said that it had killed 15 Pakistani soldiers in retaliatory firing along IB so far after the flare up started.

J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kupwara; one soldier, terrorist killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, a soldier lost his life. A terrorist was also killed during the encounter, reported ANI.In another incident earlier on Friday, an army jawan was killed in an encounter with terrorists who later mutilated his body near the Line of Control (LoC) in Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir. One militant was also killed in the gunbattle, army said.”In an encounter close to the Line of Control this evening, one solider was martyred and one terrorist was killed. The terrorists mutilated the body of the jawan before fleeing back into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of firing by Pakistan Army,” an army spokesman said.He said the incident reflected the barbarism pervading in official and unofficial organisations in Pakistan. “The incident will be responded to appropriately,” he added. Further details awaited

2-3 Pakistan soldiers killed in retaliatory firing, says Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 2-3 Pakistani armymen are believed to have been killed on Tuesday in the retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district while seven women, including six members of a family, were injured in R S Pura sector of Jammu district in cross-border shelling. Heavy exchange of fire, involving use of 82 mm and 120 mm mortar shells besides small arms, was still going on in the evening after it started at around 10 am.”From 10 am, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control in Noushera sector of Rajouri district by targeting our positions with mortar bombs and small arms fire,” an army officer said.The Indian army is giving a “befitting response” to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side, he added. “We have inputs that two to three Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the retaliatory firing by our men,” an army officer said.”The firing is still going on and our side is giving a befitting reply,” he said, adding there is no loss of life or injury on our side.In Jammu district, 6 female members of a family were injured in Suchetgarh sector of R S Pura along the International Border after a mortar shell fired by the Pakistan Rangers exploded in their house this evening, another lady was also injured in the Chandu Chak area of the same sector on Tuesday evening.The injured have been identified as Shakshi (12), Manju Choudhary (15), Veena (26), Soma Devi (40), Kamlesh Kumari (28), Sanjna (10)- all residents of Suchetgarh and Daljeet Kaur of Chandu Chak area of the sector. “They were given first aid at R S Pura hospital after which they were shifted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital here,” Deputy Commissioner (Jammu) Simrandeep Singh said.

Indian Army says retaliatory firing killed 2-3 Pakistan soldiers near LoC

Jammu: At least two-three Pakistani armymen are believed to have been killed today in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district while six female members of a family were injured in RS Pura sector of Jammu district in cross-border shelling.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Heavy exchange of fire, involving use of 82 mm and 120 mm mortar shells besides small arms, was still going on in the evening after it started at around 10 am.

“From 10 AM, Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control in Noushera sector of Rajouri district by targeting our positions with mortar bombs and small arms fire,” an army officer said.

The Indian army gave a “befitting response” to the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side, he added.

“We have inputs that two to three Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the retaliatory firing by our men,” an army officer told PTI here.

“The firing is still going on and our side is giving a befitting reply,” he said, adding there is no loss of life or injury on our side.

In Jammu district, 6 female members of a family were injured in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura along the International Border after a mortar shell fired by the Pakistan Rangers exploded in their house this evening.

“They are being given first aid at R S Pura hospital after which they will be shifted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital here shortly,” said Simrandeep Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu.

Pakistan resorts to cross-border firing at Indian posts on LoC in Kashmir

Pakistan resorts to cross-border firing at Indian posts on LoC in Kashmir


Jammu: The Pakistan Army on Wednesday resorted to heavy cross-border firing at Indian posts on the Line of Control (LoC) in the frontier Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The sources said Indian positions were targeted in Tarkundi area on the LoC, the de facto border that divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries.

“The Pakistan Army used 82 mm mortar shells and small arms to target our positions. Our troops effectively retaliated the Pakistan shelling and firing using same calibre weapons,” a defence spokesperson said.

The shelling from both sides was on till late in the evening. There were no reports of any loss of lives from either side.

It was the latest in a series of violations of the 2013 ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army alleged that Pakistan violated the bilateral truce in the same area of the LoC on Tuesday.

Ceremonial military send-off of Pak firing martyr Sudees Kumar held in Rajouri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army bid adieu to sepoy Sudees Kumar on Monday, who lost his life in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army on the Line of Control (LOC) in Rajouri district. A wreath laying ceremony was held to honour the martyr who laid down his life on Sunday while guarding the nation’s frontiers along the LoC in Rajouri sector, a Defence spokesman said.He said the ceremonial military send-off was held in Rajouri on Monday evening. “General Officer Commanding of 25 Infantry Division laid a wreath on behalf of Lt Gen A K Sharma, GOC, 16 Corps,” he said.The mortal remains of the soldier would be sent to his native village for performing the last rites, the spokesman said. Kumar belonged to Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his elderly parents, wife and a four-month-old daughter.He had joined Indian Army in 2013 and became the first person from his village to do so. “He was a thorough professional and loved his job to the core. The nation will remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and his devotion to duty will continue to motivate the future generations,” the spokesman added.

Pakistan Army warns India against any ‘misadventurism’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army on Friday warned India that any “misadventurism” by it will be met with the “most befitting response” and dismissed as a “hoax” India’s assertion of surgical strikes across the LoC in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir to destroy terrorist launchpads.During a Corps Commanders’ Conference presided over by army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, the Pakistan Army rejected the Indian stand “as an attempt to divert attention” from Kashmir.”Rejecting the absurd Indian claims of hoax surgical strikes as an attempt to divert world’s attention, away from brutalities being committed by Indian Army against innocent Kashmiris, the forum resolved that any attempt of misadventurism and irresponsible act will be met with the most befitting response,” the army said in a statement.The latest reaction from the Pakistan Army came nearly two weeks after India said it carried out “surgical strikes” across LoC and destroyed terrorist launchpads on September 28. India also said that it inflicted heavy casualties on terrorists and their supporters.Tensions have ran high between the two countries since the terror attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18. Pakistan has denied any surgical strikes took place, but said two of their soldiers were killed in cross-border firing by Indian Army.During Friday’s meeting, Pakistan Army expressed “complete satisfaction over operational preparedness of the troops.” Gen Shareef reiterated Pakistan Army’s resolve to defend the country against any threat, according to the statement.The participants resolved to continue sustained and focused combing and intelligence-based operations across the length and breadth of Pakistan to uproot terrorism harmonising it with implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) to address extremism and other causes of terrorism.

Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif visits LoC for the first time since surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif visited the Line of Control on Sunday for the first time since the surgical strike conducted by Indian troops across the LoC and expressed satisfaction over operational preparedness of the military.The Pakistan Army said in a statement that Sharif visited the Haji Pir sector and interacted with troops deployed there. He was also given a detailed briefing by the local formation commander on operational preparedness of the units and formation of the troops, the statement added. “The army chief expressed his complete satisfaction over high state of morale, operational preparedness and vigil being maintained by Pakistan Army personnel along the LoC,” the army said.Sharif’s visit comes over a week after Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh visited the Northern and Western Commands to review India’s operational preparedness along the border with Pakistan in the wake of heightened tension between the two countries following the surgical strike at terror camps across the LoC.Indian troops launched the surgical strike on September 29 following the deadly Uri attack on September 18 in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the brazen assault launched by four Pakistani terrorists who were also eliminated in the counteroffensive by the army. Pakistan has denied the surgical strike by India but has claimed two of its soldiers were killed in alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC by Indian troops.

Surgical strikes and ceasefire violations: What India and Pakistan taught us this week

First things, first.

It’s slightly late in the day, but from one type of Special Forces to another:

vUrVnmQ - Imgur

And since we’re on the topic of things we learned, one of the most striking is how closely footballer and hat-tipper extraordinaire Mesut Özil resembles yesteryear actor/director/producer/writer Buster Keaton.


See the resemblance?

Uncanny, right?

Good. Now that that’s out of the way — because that’s neither here not there — let’s reflect on the week gone by. This week — as indeed the tail-end of the last one — has been all about the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army’s Special Forces across the LoC in the early hours of 29 September.

According to some, such a strike had never been conducted before. According to others, this sort of thing has been happening for years now. Here, at FP Special Forces, we simply don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong — if such a binary can, in fact, be used in this context.

What we do know, however, is that within a week the role of the media changed drastically. A former high-ranking officer of the FP Special Forces had once said that the role of the news media would only ever be to inform, interpret and elaborate, but not to educate. How wrong he was. This week, all of that changed and the media cleared the cobwebs from our understanding and truly educated us. Let’s go through some of these teachings imparted through the tireless efforts of numerous news anchors, graphic designers and talking heads:

Surgical Strikes

With a show of hands, how many of you even knew what ‘surgical strikes’ were, before DGMO Lieutenant-General Ranbir Singh, flanked by the strong and silent Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup (for moral support, we imagine), used the phrase at that fairly famous press conference? Or did you think it was what happened when a bunch of surgeons, protesting low-pay, poor work conditions or violence perpetrated by the relatives of patients, decided to down tools, pick up placards and go on strike? Be honest!

On the off-chance that you did know what they were, your definition was probably closer to the traditional one — the one that refers to a swift and focussed attack on a specific target that causes minimal collateral damage. Right?

To quote Donald Trump, “WRONG!”

As we learned this week, a surgical strike can be anything you want it to be. For example, one interpretation refers to an incredibly daring Rambo-esque operation — in which political leaders transform into eminent personalities from Indian mythology — that leaves the victors setting off fireworks and the losers crying in shame. Or something like that. Another interpretation alludes to standing at one’s post and firing away across the border in the hopes of hitting someone, preferably an enemy combatant.

A third interpretation is the one that sees the ‘striker’ do something that appears as though it never happened. And what’s so surgical about that? Well, we’re glad you asked. Think of the way a good surgeon conducts a surgery. She makes the incision, does what is required and she’s out leaving the patient unscarred. Almost like there’s no evidence of said surgery having ever taken place. “Look ma! No scars,” like the Pakistan Army told foreign journalists when they were taken on a tour of the LoC.



That’s why!

Let’s move on.

Ceasefire violations

Nearly every TV news channel explodes with angry red, blue or white (any resemblance to the US flag or the Dutch, Australian, British, Russian, French ones or any of the seemingly hundreds of others that use this colour combination is purely coincidental) tickers.

What ceasefire? According to some reports, there’ve been 20 ceasefire violations in the past week. And we’re not even going to try to calculate the total number of such violations this year. Is there even a reason to continue considering there to be a ceasefire in place if it’s going to be violated all the time? Apparently there is. And that’s what we learned.

All things covert

We also learned a new definition for the word ‘covert’. Put away your flights of fancy about ‘plausible deniability’ and ‘clandestine’ stuff. No, covert in today’s world — as we’ve been taught this week — apparently means something to brag about and something for which video evidence can be demanded. We’re sure the Indian Army’s Special Forces did a collective facepalm just as we, at FP Special Forces did, when we received this learning.

Manohar Parrikar

Nothing to add, suffice for this:

b4JWH0e - Imgur

How Pakistan’s propaganda to deny India’s surgical strike came apart

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Uri attack on September 18 which led to 19 soldiers being martyred, veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta tweeted: “If Pakistan thinks #UriAttack will have usual Indian non-response, it’s delusional. This India has moved on from old strategic restraint.” And we witnessed the titanic shift in India’s Pakistan policy when in a joint presser on September 29,Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Ranbir Singh revealed that India had carried out a surgical strike across the LoC in PoK to take out terror launch pads across the border. According to his statement, the surgical strikes had caused ‘significant casualties to terrorists and those providing support to them.’The DGMO’s statement was hailed in various quarters in India while the official Pakistani line was that the strikes never took place. Pakistan’s Foreign Officer Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was quoted by Dawn as saying: “India’s falsified, concocted, and irresponsible statements can only escalate the already fragile security situation in the region.”A Pakistan military statement 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 the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded.”Instead, the Pakistan army claimed that the two soldiers had been killed in ‘cross-border’ fire. Meanwhile, PM Nawaz Sharif, while not accepting or denying the veracity of the reports about the strike, added: “Our intent for a peaceful neighbourhood should not be mistaken as our weakness.” Meanwhile, media reports in Pakistan claimed that ‘8 Indian Army personnel’ had been killed but the Indian Army described the reports as ‘baseless’. However, the Indian Army did admit that one BSF jawan had crossed the LoC by mistake, an incident which they said wasn’t ‘unusual on either side. The Indian government is still negotiating his return through the ‘proper channels.’Army sources also slammed graphic videos doing the rounds on Pakistan media which they claimed were fake and morphed and examples of ‘black propaganda’.International supportPM Modi with Vladimir Putin (File Photo) The surgical strikes also received backing from major world powers. The Russian Ambassador to India said: “We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself.” Another Foreign Ministry statement urged the “Government of Pakistan should take effective steps in order to stop the activities of terrorist groups in the territory of the country.” Germany said: “There is a clear international norm that every state has the right to defend its territory from international terrorism.” The US, while not directly commenting on the strikes, called on Pakistan to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.Meanwhile, to counter claims of the surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army flew in local and international journalists to the Line of Control to show ‘normalcy of life in Pakistan.’Following this, articles appeared in various international publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post looking to debunk the surgical strike. An article on Washington Post had one eye-witness claiming: “All the villagers were up, and we didn’t see any troops from the other side or helicopters. India says it killed militants here, but the people who live here know each other for generations. If there were some militants somewhere around, they couldn’t have gone undetected. This is all propaganda of India.”Another one in NYT read: “…Mr. Rustam, 22, pointed in that direction and said the Indian troops never left their posts. “They are lying,” he said. “They never crossed the L.O.C.” A group of villagers standing nearby nodded in agreement.”Meanwhile, a report in the Indian Express published on October 5, claimed to have eyewitness accounts admitting that the strike took place and the fact that the bodies of those killed were loaded onto trucks for secret burials. Later the same evening, CNN-News 18 carried a report which claimed that disclosures by Ghulam Akbar, SP of Mirpur range in PoK, admitting that surgical strikes took place in the early hours of September 29. Thinking that he was speaking to hissuperior IG Mushtaq, Ghulam Akbar, SP (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK, revealed details about the strike. The report further claimed that bodies of terrorists were also removed by the Pakistan military. The SP also said the Pakistan Army had taken away the dead bodies in ambulances, adding that they may have been buried in villages. Akbar also claimed that five Pakistan Army men had died, which contradicts Pakistan’s claim that two soldiers had died in the cross-firing. The report also had Akbar admitting, among other things, that the Pakistan army ‘facilitated’ jihadi movement in advanced positions. Referring to the report Defence Minister Parrikar said, “There is now no more reason to release video or to give any proof.” ​Even though Pakistan issued a statement saying that the report is ‘false’, it’s becoming harder and harder for Islamabad to pretend that the surgical strike didn’t take place.

False dawn? Here’s why we should be very skeptical of Nawaz Sharif’s epiphany

In times of confusion, old adages offer prescience. And this one will be particularly useful when it comes to Pakistan — ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t’.

Before we rush in to rejoice over the apparent discord between Pakistan’s civil and military administration over its terror operatives, it would be useful to remember that when it comes to Pakistan, nothing is at it seems.

File image of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

File image of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

The present conjecture has arisen out of a single source, a report from Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper that leaks details of an “extraordinary meeting” where Pakistan’s civil administration purportedly told the military chiefs that they should either rein their terror puppets or the country faces “diplomatic isolation”.

According to Dawn, the meeting between Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a small but powerful coterie of government and military officials including ISI chief Rizwan Akhtar resulted in two decisions. One, military-led intelligence agencies won’t interfere if law enforcement acts against militant groups and two, fresh attempts will be made to conclude the Pathankot investigation and restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

This sounds, to put it mildly, improbable.

To assume that Pakistan’s civil administration has asked the Rawalpindi khakis to act against militants requires major suspension of disbelief. It would mean that going against Pakistan’s historical subversion of power and the civil administration’s total irrelevance, Nawaz Sharif has miraculously found a spine.

We are talking about a country where the balance of power between elected government members and the army is so heavily skewed that nobody even in Pakistan believes that the Prime Minister enjoys any autonomy of power. There have been umpteen reports and even social media memes on how the speech read out by Nawaz Sharif at the UN General Assembly, where he praised a terrorist as a martyr and immeasurably weakened Pakistan’s case, was vetted by Rawalpindi GHQ.

Also, professor C Christine Fair of the Georgetown University, author of Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War and a noted south Asia analyst, was quick to point out that the clever differentiation being attempted between Pakistan’s civil and military dispensation is false, because when it comes to rearing, nurturing and exporting terror, the Nawaz Sharif government is as culpable as the army or ISI.

Even if we play the Devil’s Advocate and grant that Nawaz is sincere in his latest effort, it stretches credulity to think that he’d suddenly find the courage to confront the Army, knowing well that his seat is secure as long as it is allowed to be from Rawalpindi.

Besides, there is history.

On the Pathankot attack, Professor Fair writes in Huffington Post how Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad was rejuvenated and used by Islamabad to manage “its own internal security challenges as well as a cornerstone of its policy of nuclear blackmail to achieve ideological objectives in Kashmir…Pakistan does so not merely to ‘disrupt peace’ with India; rather, to prosecute the Pakistan army’s endless war on India within its borders and across South Asia.”

Considering the posture that Nawaz Sharif has consistently aired vis-à-vis Kashmir and the steadfast effort he has put in — dispatching 22 envoys in different parts of the world to highlight the issue in different parts of the world — it is surprising that Indian media believes Pakistan’s civil administration is not on the same page as the military.

Bear in mind that when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was on a Saarc visit to Islamabad, he had to take a chopper to his hotel because 26/11 mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed was holding a rally in Lahore against Rajnath’s visit while Hizbul Mujaheedin chief Syed Salahuddin was lighting the embers elsewhere in Pakistan. It would be presumptuous to think that these terror masterminds were roaming free and holding rallies without active collusion and backing from the civil administration.

A more likely explanation of the charade is the concerted international pressure that Pakistan is under, following a string of terrorist attacks on Indian soil and New Delhi’s diplomatic offensive. Sharif’s “courtroom drama” with calculated leaks in media seems to be aimed at sending a message to the global powers that Pakistan is “serious about battling terror”, a posture that has served Pakistan well and ensured a line of unending credit from Washington.

Interestingly, the Dawn report tantalizingly hints at such a manouvre. It says: “According to several government officials, Monday’s confrontation was part of a high-stakes gamble by Prime Minister Sharif to try and forestall further diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.”

As Tanvi Madan, Fellow and director of India Project at Brookings Institution pointed out on Twitter, this message could be aimed at Washington, who in recent times have indicated that its patience with Pakistan’s war games is wearing thin and Beijing, which can never be taken for granted.

Whatever be the case, for policymakers in India, it would be better to wait and watch what Pakistan does. The proof of the pudding is in eating.

Pak shelling leaves trail of destruction on LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up their offensive, Pakistan Army shelled a strategic fuel depot of the security forces, leaving a trail of destruction along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Saujian sector of Poonch district in Jammu division.More than 20 shops were razed to ground after massive fire engulfed the Saujian village when Pakistan shells landed in the fuel depot, which is used for supplying oil to the forward posts of the security forces stationed on the Line of Control.”Almost 20 shops and two bikes were gutted in the fire. A car has also suffered some damages in the firing. It is a place where the fuel barrels are kept for their onward movement to the forward posts. The incident happened 48 hours ago when cross border shelling took place in Saujiyan and Shahpur sectors,” Mohammad Harun Malik, district development commissioner of Poonch, told dna.Malik said they are currently assessing the losses caused to the property due to the cross border shelling. “Loss statement has not been made. I had personally gone for the inspection of the affected area of Saujian today.Wooden works and roofs of the shops have been gutted completely but the walls are intact,” he said.Pakistani army has opened few more fronts and extended shelling to newer areas in Mendhar and Sunderbani sectors of the LoC. “Ceasefire violations in Sunderbani and Mendhar sectors are being strongly retaliated by our forces,” said an army officer.Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, defence spokesman at Jammu, said Pakistan started to unprovoked cease fire violations in Krishna Ghati sector from 5 pm on Tuesday using arms, automatics and mortars.”Firing stopped at Krishna Ghati sector 8 pm but intermittently continues in Naushera sector. Firing is being appropriately responded by own troops,” he said.Deputy inspector general of police, Rajouri-Poonch range, Johnny Williams told dna that the authorities have evacuated few civilians from some areas in Naushera sector of LoC following the shelling.”We had to do evacuation in the wake of shelling. Around 50 to 60 people were evacuated. Basically the shelling is from post to post,” he said.Pakistan has also opened another front in Macchal sector by resorting to heavy shelling on Indian forward posts on Wednesday. “Ceasefire Violation in Machhal Sector by Pakistan is being strongly retaliated,” tweeted Northern Command of the Indian army.Hundreds of families have shifted to safer places after Pakistani army intensified the shelling since the Indian army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir last week.Meanwhile, police in its continuous and sustained drive against the trouble mongers arrested 76 people involved in various offences of disturbing public order in different parts of the valley

Surgical strikes: Five Pakistani soldiers among 12 killed, Mirpur SP tells CNN-News18

Quoting disclosures by Mirpur SP, CNN-News18 confirmed the surgical strikes, which Pakistan so vehemently refused to acknowledge, were actually carried out by India on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control on 29 September.

Mirpur SP, who was under the impression that he was speaking to his superior IG Mushtaq, confirmed claims made by the Indian Army to News18‘s Investigations Editor Manoj Gupta.

Not only did the SP confirm the timings of the strike, he also revealed the areas that were under attack – Leepa and Asmani in Bhimber – and the number of people killed. He said the Pakistan Army had cordoned off all these areas immediately after the Indian Army’s strikes.

Representational image.

Representational image.

“Sir, that was night… you can say roughly 3-4 hours… between 2 am and 4 or 5am… the attack continued between that time,” Mirpur SP told CNN-News18.

He further said that 12 people were killed and were buried in 12 coffins in their villages.

The SP also said that the Pakistan Army put the bodies in ambulances and took them away, adding that many have been buried in villages and that his personnel were evaluating the coffin boxes.

Listing the names of five Pakistani soldiers who were killed and nine injured in the strikes (names redacted adhering to the code of standards and practices of CNN-News18 which prevented them from publishing the details), Mirpur SP said, “A mosque has also been damaged. It is near the post in Leepa. These are all details of the 29th… when the surgical strike happened.”

When asked if any locals or jihadis were killed, Mirpur SP said, “No locals died. But there is a probability that jihadis have been killed.”

In another shocking revelation, Mirpur SP admitted that the Pakistani Army facilitates jihadi movement in forward areas and arranges for their crossing over to India. “The Army brings them (lashkaris)… it is in their hands,” he said.

On probing if the army is not letting information about the jihadis out and hides them, Mirpur Sp said,”Sir, that happens… Yes sir, they do that, we know. This is why the area has been cordoned off…”

India has not officially announced how many militants were killed in the strikes, only saying it managed to neutralise a “significant” number of terrorists. However, Islamabad has disputed the Indian claim of surgical strikes and said it lost two soldiers in cross-border firing by Indian troops that night.

Three injured in fresh Pakistan ceasefire violations in Kashmir

Srinagar: Two women and a man were injured in mortar and small arms firing from across the de facto boundary with Pakistan on Monday as border tension continued amid fresh ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Defence sources said Pakistan Rangers fired indiscriminately using mortars and automatic weapons to target Indian border outposts in Akhnoor sector of the International Border in Jammu district.

Indian border guards effectively retaliated using same calibre weapons, they said. The intermittent fire exchanges continued in Akhnoor till noon.

Frightened by shelling and firing, dozens of families abandoned homes, cattle and agricultural fields in Pallanwalla area and fled to safer places.

Similar scenes were witnessed in Poonch near the Line of Control (LoC) later when Pakistan Army resorted to heavy shelling and firing in Shahpur, using 82 mm mortar shells which fell in a large area on the Indian side.

Representational image. Pic Courtesy: Shahid TantrayRepresentational image. Pic Courtesy: Shahid Tantray

Representational image. Pic Courtesy: Shahid Tantray

Three civilians sustained splinter injuries. Police said the injured were removed to hospital.

The third violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement occurred in Sabjiyan sector of Poonch when Pakistan Army used mortars and heavy fire arms to target Indian posts.

Intermittent shelling and firing exchanges were still going on at both Shahpur and Sabjiyan sectors till late Monday evening.

The fresh border skirmishes came hours after militants attacked the local headquarters of a counter-insurgency military unit on the banks of the Jhelum river in a north Kashmir village on Sunday night, killing a paramilitary trooper.

Border Security Force (BSF) troopers guarding the outpost of the camp were the first to engage at least two militants in a gunfight at the entrance of the camp.

Police said the militants with clear intent to enter the camp lobed over a dozen grenades before opening automatic gunfire at the outpost.

The militants, however, managed to escape under the cover of darkness and a six-hour-long search to locate them yielded no result.

Security forces recovered a GPS set, a compass and a wire cutter besides some ammunition from the shootout site.

Inspector General (Kashmir) of the BSF Vikash Chandra said two militants were involved in the attack.

“My boys from the spot confirmed that there were at least two terrorists who were firing at them,” he said.

Security forces are now assessing as to how the militants managed to reach the outpost of the camp since it is situated in a highly secured area of Baramulla town.

Surgical strike: Escalation of cross-border firing not in anyone’s interest, says Pakistan Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching its version of a media publicity blitzkrieg aimed at challenging the Indian Army’s claim of having conducted surgical strikes on the Pakistan side of Kashmir, the Pakistan Army has said escalation of military cross-border firing or engagement is not in anyone’s interest.”Escalation and war mongering do not suit anyone. We have neither escalated nor want to increase tensions,” the Dawn quoted Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa, as telling media at a forward command post on the Line of Control (LoC).According to the Dawn, about 40 journalists, both local and foreign representing about 20 media organisations, were taken to Bagsar in the Bhimbher sector and Mandol in the Hot Spring sector. The journalists were reportedly given briefings by regional commanders and the military spokesman, and were allowed to interact with locals.Lt. Gen. Bajwa maintained during his interaction with the media that the Indian Army did not carry out surgical strikes as claimed and demanded that the latter be transparent and open. India had claimed that “surgical strikes” by its troops had caused “significant damage to terrorists and those who were trying to support them.”

Amid rising tensions, Pakistan Chief Justice to not attend global conference in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid escalating tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad over cross-border firing, Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Zaheer Jamali has decided not to attend a global conference in India.The ‘Global Conference on National Initiative towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement’ organised by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is scheduled to be held between October 21 and 23.”Owing to recent developments, it will not be possible for me to visit India,” the Express Tribune quoted, Justice Jamali, as saying.The Chief Justice of India, T. S. Thakur is the patron-in-chief of the conference.According to reports, Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale had met Justice Jamali in July and invited him to attend the conference.Meanwhile, Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Farogh Nasim appreciated the chief justice’s refusal and said that legal community supports the Pakistan Army against any unpleasant escalation.

Pak videos of Indian Army casualties fake & morphed; example of ‘Black Propaganda’, say Army sources

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army sources on Friday clarified that the videos of the Indian Army casualties shown by Pakistani media were morphed and doctored and called it ‘black propaganda’.Reports on Thursday said that Pakistan military claimed to have killed eight Indian soldiers and captured one while retaliating to India’s firing at the first line of defence at the Line of Control (LoC) at Tatta Pani. However, the Indian Army had immediately rejected reports in a section of Pakistani media as ‘false and baseless’ “Few Pakistani channels are playing morphed/doctored video clips showing Indian Army casualties. The same is also circulating on social media,” said Army sources. “It is clarified that these are fake and example of ‘Black Propaganda’,” they said.Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that all attempts were being made to secure the release of an Indian soldier, who inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan.Singh said the government had taken note of the reports which stated that an Indian soldier was being held captive in Pakistan. Army sources said that one soldier from 37 RR with weapon has inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan side of LoC in Mendhar Sector and Pakistan was informed of this by the DGMO on the hotline.Sources also said that one member of the team involved in the surgical operations received minor injury during exfiltration. There was no injury as a result of any enemy or terrorist action.On Thursday, the DGMO said that India had carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.

Pakistan army watching Indian border, ‘fully prepared to respond’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Pakistan Army on Tuesday said it was closely watching the Indian border and was “fully prepared to respond” to any kind of situation, in the wake of rising tensions with India after the Uri terror attack.”We are closely monitoring the developments on the eastern border and we are fully prepared to respond,” military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said after a security meeting in Peshawar. The meeting headed by army chief General Raheel Sharif reviewed the security at the border with Afghanistan.Diplomatic tensions have spiked between India and Pakistan since the September 18 attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Pakistan has rejected allegations of its involvement in the assault with both countries hitting out at each other including at the UN General Assembly.Bajwa said that the meeting discussed the steps being taken for border management by the armed forces. He said work has been completed on 20 posts set up for border management.Defending Pakistan’s security measures at the border with Afghanistan, Bajwa said that the border management would be more effective if matching actions are taken by Afghanistan on its side.Bajwa also said that Pakistan had not accused any country without concrete evidence. He said that major actions under Operation Zarb-e-Azb which was launched in June 2014 have been completed but intelligence and combing operations were going in different areas.

Uri attack aftermath: Thundering against Pakistan is fine but India needs to defend itself

With the terror attack and death of 18 Indian soldiers in Uri on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is facing its first major crisis. Public anger has reached a fever pitch with people demanding immediate retaliation. The 24×7 television channels are in the forefront of war mongering with retired officials, BJP leaders and those belonging to the larger Sangh Parivar family, thundering vengeance on various channels. One worthy predicted that Pakistan would not be in a position to celebrate its next independence day.

An Army person inspects a passenger vehicle at the checkpost near Uri Army Brigade on Thursday. The road, passing through the brigade headquarters connecting 12 villages close to the LoC, was opened to civilian traffic after remaining closed for four days in view of the recent attack on the army base. PTIAn Army person inspects a passenger vehicle at the checkpost near Uri Army Brigade on Thursday. The road, passing through the brigade headquarters connecting 12 villages close to the LoC, was opened to civilian traffic after remaining closed for four days in view of the recent attack on the army base. PTI

An Army person inspects a passenger vehicle at the checkpost near Uri Army Brigade on Thursday. The road, passing through the brigade headquarters connecting 12 villages close to the LoC, was opened to civilian traffic after remaining closed for four days in view of the recent attack on the army base. PTI

This kind of rhetoric helps no one and can only boomerang on the hard line support base of the Sangh Parivar by raising unrealistic expectations. Prime Minister Modi who had railed against his Congress predecessor is finding out that once in the hot seat, there are no easy options. In fact, retaliation can be the easy way out, but the cost could be high. The BJP is caught up in its past rhetoric and the need to reassure its supporters that the government at the Centre will not allow Pakistan to continue its terror attacks with impunity.

No knee-jerk reaction, no frozen ties

So far Prime Minister Modi has not gone in for a “Knee-jerk reaction”, former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said. “As the government has announced India’s response will be calibrated, at a time and place of its choosing. This is the right approach,” he said.

He waved off the possibility of war but said: “We are in a phase of frozen relations with Pakistan. Talks now are completely out. Terror will be the one point agenda if talks are held in future. Without sorting this out talking is useless. At the same time, there will be a no-holds-barred promotion of the Baloch cause as well as Gilgit and Baltistan, to tell Pakistan that it is not a one way street.”

Put your house in order

Thundering statements at the UNGA may win brownie points with the domestic audience but does not help to solve problems. Knowing full well that terror attacks continue to be launched from Pakistan, India should have by now ensured that its defences cannot be so easily breached. If the proper security protocol is followed terrorists would not so easily gain entry to the Uri camp or a front line air force base in Pathankot, or even the police station in Gurdaspur, leave alone several others down the years. Speeches in the UNGA, or briefing the international community about Pakistan’s perfidy is all very well. But India has to be responsible for its own security and make sure that its defence installations remain watertight. After major terror attacks, like Mumbai strike of 2008 and Parliament attack of 2001, much soul-searching is done and promises made to plug the loopholes. Yet we continue to remain vulnerable.

“The fact, that at a time when Kashmir is on the boil and India knows well that Pakistan is fuelling the fire, the army camp in Uri, in fact all defence installations in the state should have taken the necessary precautions. Unfortunately, we keep repeating our mistakes and expose our own vulnerability,” former foreign secretary Shyam Saran said.

If the proper security drill was put in place, the terrorists could have been killed before inflicting such heavy casualties on the Indian army. terror strikes which could have easily been avoided.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that lapses as in Uri would never be allowed to happen again.

Prime Minister Modi has to keep in mind the cost and risk involved in whatever action he is contemplating. India’s most important strategic goal at the moment is uninterrupted economic development, providing jobs to millions of young people and infrastructure development. A war will divert much-needed resources and there will be an economic price to pay.

Immediate retaliation would have mean playing into the hands of the Pakistan Army and its spy agency the Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI). The government has denied a web magazine report that Indian forces had crossed over the Line of Control in Uri and killed 20 terrorists at a camp across the border.

The terror strike was to provoke action from India, ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address at the UNGA, to bring the Kashmir to the top of international consciousness. After the Uri terror attack, Pakistan’s chances of putting India on the mat on Kashmir receded. In fact, Pakistan’s image as a state which encourages terror has been reinforced over the last two decades. While at one time, New Delhi had found it difficult to convince the US and its allies about Pakistan’s sponsoring terror groups, after Afghanistan, when the West got a first-hand experience of the Pakistani Army’s dubious deals with terror, no one needs much conviction. China, Pakistan’s long-term ally will be the only one of the five UN Security Council members who will go out on a limb for Pakistan. It has already done so when Beijing found technical grounds to hold up Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar’s name from the UN terror list, which India had moved.

Options for India

A quick strike inside Pakistan territory to send the message that Pakistan cannot keep bleeding India without paying a price. Not that the Pakistan Army is not prepared for such an eventuality. Reports that leave of the Pakistani rangers who are posted along the border have been cancelled, that Pakistan airlines flights to PoK have been stopped, is an indication that the army is well prepared for any eventuality. Another war between two nuclear-armed neighbours would alarm the world and the US and its allies would get busy trying to make peace.

Covert opertions

Covert operations at an appropriate time are also being mulled. But this will mean not declaring it from the roof top and the public mood being as it is at the moment, the government would like to show the public what it has done. This is one reason that a covert operation may not be the PM’s choice at least for now.

MFN status and the Indus Waters Treaty

There is a talk of removing the Most Favoured Nation Status that was given to Pakistan by India in 2012 in keeping with its WTO and Saarc obligations. But as overland trade with Pakistan is at best minimal, just over two billion dollars, and mostly in India’s favour, it will have little significance. Trade through third countries is more robust and will not be affected.

Talk of revoking the India Waters Treaty is foolish, which has continued despite three wars between the two neighbours. Any attempt to block water will play out badly in the international community.

India’s priority is ramping up its own internal procedures to make it difficult for the terrorists to breach perimeter walls of sensitive installations.

Uri martyr’s father lashes out: ‘No other son of mine will join Army if govt doesn’t act’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The deadly terror attack in Uri which claimed the life of 18 army soldiers threw the entire country in shock on a Sunday morning, but no one was more crushed and broken that Naik SK Vidyarthi​ father who is still mourning the loss of his son.An enraged Mathura Yadav has stated that he won’t let any of his sons join the Indian Army, if the government does not take stern action against Pakistan, who is the perpetrator of the dastardly attack.”Pakistan should be given strict punishment. If the government fails to take stern action, I will never let any of my sons join army again,” he told ANI.The distraught yet proud daughter of the slain soldier, Aarti Kumari said if she gets the opportunity, she would join the army herself.”I would request the government that if they (Pakistan) attack us once, we should give them a befitting reply. I am proud of my father because he did not die, he sacrificed his life for the nation. I wanted to join IIT, Delhi ‘now I don’t know whether it will be possible. If I get the opportunity, I would surely join the army,” she added.Vidyarthi, who joined the army in 1999 has left behind his wife and four children namely Aarti, Anshu, Anshika and Aryan.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yesterday announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh to Vidyarthi’s family.Meanwhile, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies.Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in the Uri attack, including GPS tracker movements that go back to a starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources said.According to sources, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26.This development comes after the Prime Minister yesterday chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road here.Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, saying it is the latter’s traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil.Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh earlier said that the four terrorists who attacked the military base in Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Uri attack: PM Modi wants to present actionable evidence against Pak at global fora

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After giving an assurance of going after the perpetrators of the deadly Uri attack in which 18 army soldiers were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday gave the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping. According to sources, India is to present all actionable evidence against Pakistan if required at international bodies.The Indian Permanent Mission is to issue a statement taking on Islamabad soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will make his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Evidence of Pakistan’s hand in Uri attack i.e. GPS tracker movements that go back to starting point in Pakistan, Pashto literature, Pakistan Army marked arms will be given to Islamabad at the DGMO level, sources add.India is set to raise Uri attack at the 71st UNGA and highlight Pakistan’s involvement into the deadly terror strike. Sources state that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will strongly emphasize on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack in her UNGA speech on September 26. This development comes after the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials were present in the meeting. Pakistan has, however, flatly refused New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that it has become India?s traditional tendency to point fingers on them after each terrorist attack.”Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying.”In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Director General of Military operation Lt. Ranbir Singh yesterday said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Pakistan Army chief targets India, says ‘foreign forces’ are trying to destabilise Pak-China ties

Karachi: Apparently targeting India, Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Tuesday said “foreign forces” are trying to destabilise this country and its crucial economic corridor with China.

Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. Reuters

Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. Reuters

Speaking at a seminar on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the coastal town of Gwadar, he said India had openly opposed the USD 46 billion project.

“The CPEC is a deep manifestation of the time-tested relations between China and Pakistan. But there are foreign forces who, realizing the potential of CPEC and wanting an influential role in the region, are working to destabilise Pakistan and the project,” he said.

The Army Chief said hostile intelligence agencies are averse to the CPEC but “we will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan”.

Describing the project as “a corridor of peace and prosperity”, he said that CPEC is a lifetime opportunity for Pakistan to improve the socio-economic equation of its underprivileged areas and populace.

However, there were “external intelligence agencies who are involved in facilitating terrorists, their abettors and financiers in Pakistan in a bid to subvert the economic corridor project,” he said.

He said he had told the international community to not just acknowledge the contribution of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism but to stop external forces from helping facilitators and abettors of terrorism in Pakistan.

He said work on the CPEC was progressing at a fast pace and already 675 kilometres of roads had been completed in just two years’ time.

“Transparency and good management is important for sustainability of the CPEC which will eventually benefit the people of Baluchistan and Pakistan,” he said.

Talking about operation Zarb-e-Azab, General Sharif said it was not only an operation but an ideology, ideology against terrorists, extremists and corruption.

“Zarb-e-Azab is in the final stages in the tribal areas. Zarb-e-Azab is not just an operation but a wholesome ideology,” he said.

Ceasefire violation across LoC, fear grips villagers; India, Pakistan blame each other

The shelling across the Line-of-Control between India and Pakistan began at midnight and continued till the wee hours of the morning on Sunday.The Indian defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, said the shelling began from the Pakistani side without any provocation from the Indian side.”Pakistan troops intermittently fired small arms, automatics and mortars. Our troops retaliated appropriately with equal calibre weapons. No casualties/damage was reported till last reports came in,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The shelling took place on the Indian forward posts in Shahpur village of the Poonch sub-sector of Jammu division.District development commissioner of Poonch Mohommad Haroon told dna that a residential house and a car was damaged when a Pakistani shell exploded in Shahpur village.”Fear has gripped the villagers since the cross border shelling has occurred after a long time. It was unexpected which also added to the panic. We hope that the shelling will not occur again,” said HaroonOfficial figures reveal around 405 incidents of cross-border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 killing 16 civilians. Of which 253 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the International Border and 152 incidents along the Line of Control.At least 16 civilians were killed 71 others were injured in the cross border firing and shelling. Around 72 houses were damaged due to border shelling along the border last year. As many as 7,110 people were temporarily affected due to ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir from January 1 to November 2015.The cease-fire on borders came into force on November 26, 2003 when the then Pakistani premier Zafarullah Khan Jamali announced unilateral truce on all the three frontiers – 772km Line of Control (LoC), 192kmInternational Border (IB) and 122km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) at Siachen glacier — as a goodwill gesture. New Delhi also responded positively and since then both armies decided to hold fire.The ceasefire comes after a break of seven months. Army sources said for the first three years, the ceasefire was more or less observed in letter and spirit by both the countries. Pakistan, however, started showing its true colours in 2006 when it started firing on Indian positions occasionally. Around 15 Indian security personnel were killed in the ceasefire violations from 2009 to August 2012.The fresh ceasefire violation comes three days after Pakistan suspended the dialogue process with India. “There is no meeting scheduled for now. I think at present the peace process is suspended,” Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit said on Thursday.Meanwhile, while Pakistan High Comissision in Delhi refused to react. But sent a statement issued by Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Public Relations in Rawalpindi, blaming India for shelling.According to the ISPR, the heavy shelling in Neza Pir sector started at 11.40 pm on Saturday, continuing for hours and lasting until almost 5am early Sunday morning.”Pakistan Army troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing and shelling,” the ISPR statement said.

After 7-month lull, Pakistan violates border ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir

After a lull of nearly seven months, the ceasefire on the Line of Control was violated again on Sunday with Pakistan army resorting to mortar shelling and firing in Poonch sector, a development that comes amid a fresh chill in relations between the two countries.”The Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector of J and K,” Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar and automatic weapon fire in the Shahpur area of Poonch sector at 0430 hours. “Our troops responded appropriately and no casualties or damage to our troops was reported,” the spokesman added. The ceasefire violation comes after nearly seven months as last such incident took place on September 18, 2015 in the Balakote sector of Poonch district. “Today’s ceasefire violation is the first major such incident of 2016,” a senior army officer said.Last year, 16 civilians were killed and 71 others injured in 405 incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan, the officer said. While 253 incidents of ceasefire violations took place along the International Border (IB), 152 incidents were reported along the LoC, he said.Around 8,000 people were temporarily affected due to the ceasefire violations and had to be shifted to safer locations. Introducing a fresh chill in ties between the two neighbours, Pakistan had earlier this month said the bilateral peace process stands “suspended” while indicating that it would not allow Indian investigators looking into the Pathankot air force base attack to travel there.Meanwhile, in Islamabad, Pakistan army accused India of resorting to firing across the LoC in the Neza Pir sector. The Pakistan army said “heavy unprovoked firing and shelling” started at around 11:40 PM on Saturday and went on until about 4:45 AM.It said that Pakistan Army troops provided a “befitting reponse” to the firing. No loss of life or property has been reported so far, according to Pakistan army. The two countries had agreed to border ceasefire in 2003.

Iran probes Pakistan’s claim on arrest of alleged Indian ‘spy’

Iran is investigating whether an alleged Indian ‘spy’ arrested last month in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province crossed the border illegally or was picked up from its soil, according to a media report here.”Iranian authorities have directly and indirectly conveyed to Pakistan that they were investigating whether or not Kulbhushan jadhav crossed into Pakistan illegally,” The Express Tribune reported, citing top government sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yadav, who was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran, has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country. Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Yadav, who said he was a serving Indian Navy officer. India has acknowledged Yadav as a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government. India, which has already claimed Yadav was picked up from the Iranian soil, is putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to register a case against Pakistani agencies, the paper said. India is also seeking to enlist support of the US, the UK and France to convince Iran to go by its claim that Yadav was kidnapped from the Iranian soil, it said, quoting sources.Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif also took up the matter with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani during the latter s recent visit to Islamabad, the report said. Iran has asked for the exact timing of Yadav’s arrest which was readily provided, according to sources.The Islamic Republic suspected Yadav had been missing for a few months and not since March 3 when Pakistan claimed he was arrested, the paper added.

India, Pakistan spar over ‘confessional’ video of alleged Indian ‘spy’

India and Pakistan on Tuesday sparred after the Pakistan Army released a video of an arrested ex-Indian Navy officer purportedly “confessing” his “involvement” in terror activities in Balochistan at his country’s behest, a charge rubbished by India, which alleged he could have been “abducted” from Iran. New Delhi also sought from Islamabad consular access to the Indian national.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The head of Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt Gen Asim Bajwa and Federal information minister Pervez Rashid held a press conference in Islamabad to release the video, saying Kul Bhoshan Yadav (Kulbhushan Jadhav) “confessed” to working for Indian intelligence agency RAW to “foment trouble” in the restive province of Balochistan.Jadhav had been arrested recently in Pakistan, which described him as an officer of the Indian Navy, a claim debunked by the Indian government which said he had no link with the Government since his premature retirement from the Navy but Bajwa claimed that Jadhav was still a serving officer due to retire in 2022. “We have seen a video released by Pakistani authorities of a former Indian Naval officer, doing business in Iran, who is in Pakistani custody under unexplained circumstances.The video has this individual making statements which have no basis in fact. That the individual claims to make the statements of his own free will not only challenges credulity but clearly indicates tutoring,” the external affairs ministry said in a press statement released in Delhi tonight. Detained Indian spy confesses to RAW’s involvement in Balochistan http://goo.gl/8lAKhz
Express Tribune Video on Tuesday, March 29, 2016″Government categorically rejects allegations that this individual was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan at our behest. Our enquiries reveal that he apparently was being harassed while operating a legitimate business from Iran.”While we probe this aspect further, his presence now in Pakistan raises questions, including the possibility of his abduction from Iran. This would become clear only if we are given consular access to him and we urge the Government of Pakistan to respond immediately to our request,” it said.The statement further said, “It is also relevant to note here that despite our request, we have not been given consular access to an Indian national under detention in a foreign country, as is the accepted international practice.” “We are naturally concerned about his well-being in these circumstances,” it added.Citing Jadhav’s case, Bajwa accused India of carrying out “state-sponsored terrorism” in Pakistan. There cannot be a clearer “evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan”, he claimed. The Pakistanis claimed that Jadhav had established a small business in Chabahar in Iran and had “directed” anti-Pakistan activities in Karachi and Balochistan. “He converted to Islam and worked at Gadani under the cover of a scrap dealer,” Bajwa said at a joint press conference with Rashid.

Former Pak soldier, 6 terrorists planning attacks in Delhi on Holi; police on high alert

Delhi, Punjab and Assam police were today alerted by security agencies about an ex-Pakistani soldier having crossed over to India along with six hardcore terrorists through the Indo-Pak border in Pathankot with a plan to carry out attacks on hotels and hospitals in Delhi during Holi.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

In a communication, the central security agencies said Mohammad Khurshid Alam alias Jahangir, an ex-military personnel of Pakistan Army, who had worked as a recruiter, coordinator and guide of Jehadi elements in Assam, had crossed over to India from Pakistan through the Indo-Pak border in Pathankot on February 26 along with six hardcore terrorists.

“The intention of this group is to kill citizens in Delhi in hotels and hospitals on or before Holi,” the communication said.

The agencies said Alam had visited a madrasa in Barpeta district in Assam in September 2015.

The ex-Pakistan armyman had stayed in the madrasa for five days and thereafter left for Chirang district, bordering Bhutan.

Alam had used another madrasa in Dhubri district in Assam as his base and used to visit other parts of the state, it said.

In Dhubri, a teacher of the madrasa provided all required logistical support to Alam, the communication added.

The Hindustan Times reports that intelligence inputs generated across the country are shared on the multi-agency centre (MAC) platform, a practice adopted after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and strengthened over the years so that no information slips through the gap.

With PTI

Pakistani Non-state actors backed by state responsible for Pathankot attack, says Parrikar

New Delhi: Non-state actors were involved in the Pathankot terror attack but they cannot function smoothly without support from the state, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha.

Replying to supplementary questions in the upper house, the minister was asked by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut whether the Pathankot attack was carried out only by terrorists or the Army.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

“Does the government believe it was just a terror attack or done with the help of Pakistan Army,” Raut asked.

Parrikar, in reply, said: “All details will come out in NIA investigation. In this, non-state actors from Pakistan are certainly involved, that is sure… And any non-state (actor), they can’t function smoothly without state support.”

The 2 January  terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab had left seven security personnel dead. Six terrorists, who attacked the base, were killed in a gun battle which lasted almost three days.


Mumbai engineer gets 3-year jail sentence in Pakistan

“I urge Indian and Pakistani governments to see the case of my son with compassion and above politics,” said Fauzia Ansari (55), mother of 27-year-old engineering and management graduate from Mumbai, Hamid Ansari, who was sentenced to jail for three years by a Pakistani military court for espionage.Ansari had crossed over to Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012 and then went missing. He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court, which pronounced him guilty of espionage.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ansari’s parents had filed a habeas corpus in a Pakistani court when they came to know in January that their son was in the custody of the Pakistan army.On Monday, news trickled in that he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by a military court. The mood at Ansari’s household became glum as his old parents now has another long legal battle ahead.Ansari’s father’s Nehal Ahmed Ansari (59), is a retired bank manger and elder brother Khalid Ansari (32) is a dental surgeon.India had had sought consular access for Ansari, an engineer, and asked Pakistan to ensure his safety and security.Pakistani media reported that Ansari has confessed to illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan for espionage and he had seven Facebook accounts as well as 30 email addresses. He was reportedly found to be in possession of sensitive documents, reports claimed.”It was on January 13 that we came to know that our son was alive and was in Pakistan army’s custody and was facing a trial. We were hopeful that finally we will be able to get him back safe and sound. But the recent development came as a jolt to us and we will have to wait for more time to get our son back to India,” said Fauzia.”We are not giving up hope. We have faith in god. We have faith in the Indian government and judiciary and we will do all that is possible from our side to get him back safely,” said Fauzia.”I have been running from pillar to post and I have already appealed to the external affairs ministry and have submitted all documents,” said Fauzia.” I am sure that both governments will agree that a human life is precious and an educated young guy like him should not suffer in a Pakistani jail,” she said.A distraught Fauzia has a number of people to thank for on both sides of the border for their relentless support in her quest to get her son back. “I am grateful to the Indian government and also to some people in Pakistan who took up my son’s case, including senior counsel Kazi Mohammed Anwar, who represented Hamid in the court and did not charge a single rupee for legal service,” said Fauzia.According to reports in Pakistan media, Ansari had allegedly confessed to his crime. However, Fauzia is still wondering what crime Ansari has committed.”I am not sure what crime my son has committed. As per his chats with his friends from Pakistan on Facebook before he went missing, he crossed over to Pakistan to help a girl who was a victim of a social evil,” said Fauzia.Ansari was convicted in Kohat, a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and was shifted to the Peshawar central prison. He has a right to appeal under the Pakistan Army Act.

Pakistan military runs govt in Islamabad: Shiv Sena

A day after Afghanistan blamed the Pakistan Army for the attack on the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday backed the claims and alleged that the military runs the government in Islamabad. “Earlier, only the Shiv Sena used to say this but now the whole world knows that the Pakistani Government is controlled by its military. The military runs entire government in that country and it is responsible for sheltering the terrorists,” Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande said.”The fact stated by the Afghanistan Police chief is confirmation to all these specifics,” she added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a poser on the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan which looks in jeopardy in wake of the Pathankot terror attack, the Shiv Sena leader said ‘dialogue’ is the keys to solve disputes. “Let’s see what comes out of these (Foreign) Secretary-level talks, which are scheduled at a time when former president of Pakistan Parvez Musharraf has stressed that attacks on Pakistan were not that major,” she added. Pakistani military officers were behind the attack on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif last week, a top Afghan police official said on Tuesday. One Afghan policeman was killed and nine others, including three civilians, were wounded in the attack on January 4.

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