Pakistan officer confirms surgical strikes by Indian Army

PTI10_5_2016_000147B Indian army soldiers on alert near the Line of Control in Pallanwal sector | PTI

In a major embarrassment for Islamabad, which has been consistently denying claims of surgical strikes by the Indian Army on the terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, a senior Pakistani official has reportedly admitted that the LoC operation took place on the early hours of September 29.

CNN-NEWS18 claimed that Ghulam Akbar, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK disclosed that the Pakistan Army was caught unawares by the Indian attack and that at least five Pakistani soldiers and an unspecified number of militants were killed in the strikes.

The channel said on Wednesday that one of its journalists, Manoj Gupta, posed as Inspector General of Police Mushtaq while speaking to Akbar over telephone.

It said the officer,  under the impression that he was speaking to his superior, confirmed every single claim made by the Indian Army.  Samana in Bhimber, Hazira in Poonch, Dudhniyal in Neelam and Kayani in Hathian Bala were the areas which came under attack, according to Akbar.

The report quoted the SP as saying that the Pakistani Army cordoned off all these areas immediately after the strikes and put the dead bodies in ambulances and took them away. 

Akbar's statement also corroborated what Indian Director General of Military Operations Lt General Ranbir Singh had said during his press conference on September 29 where he announced that India had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan-held Kashmir, destroyed terror launch pads and inflicted heavy casualties on the militants, the TV news channel claimed.

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.

A political slugfest broke out on Tuesday over the surgical strikes with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam calling it "fake", provoking stinging criticism from the BJP even as his own party said it "totally dissociates" from his remarks. 

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