MUZAFFARABAD: The Pakistan Army on Thursday captured an Indian army soldier and killed eight others in retaliation to India’s firing at the first line of defence at the Line of Control (LoC) at Tatta Pani, confirmed security sources.
The capture and the casualties sustained occurred when the Indian army opened fire across the working boundary, killing two Pakistani soldiers.
In his show Capital Talk on Geo News, Hamid Mir said that 14 Indian soldiers were killed in two sectors. Defense analyst Major General (Retd) Ijaz Awan, who was on his show, confirmed his claim.
The captured soldier, Chandu Babulal Chohan, has been shifted to an undisclosed location.
Details of the captured soldier are:
Father’s name: Bashan Chohan
The bodies of the Indian soldiers have not been recovered from by the Indian Army from the site of the skirmishes at the LoC.
Security sources claim an attempt to recover the bodies by the Indian Army has not been made yet as they fear coming under fire from Pakistan Army troops.
Early morning firing
An exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian LoC troops began at 2:30am and continued till 8:00am in the Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the ISPR statement said.
“Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing on the LoC.”
Shortly after the exchange of fire, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence held a joint press conference in New Delhi in which DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh alleged that surgical strikes were conducted by the Indian army on “terror launch pads along the LoC”. The strikes will not continue, he said.
The Indian DGMO claimed that “some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control”.
“The Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launchpads. Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them… The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased.”
Pakistan rubbished the Indian claims of conducting a surgical strike.
“The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects,” a military statement said.
“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.”
Also read: What is a ‘surgical strike’?
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said Pakistan’s airspace would be safeguarded at any cost. “PAF is always alert and ready to issue a befitting response to foreign aggression,” a spokesperson said.