BORDER RAID

Pak Army rejects claim that India carried out cross LoC firing

pak_loc_firing Pakistani troops fired Indians criminately from across the line of control at forward posts in Noushera sector of Rajouri district | PTI

The Pakistan Army today rejected claims that the Indian commandos selectively targeted a post across the Line of Control killing three Pakistani soldiers in a tit-for-tat action.

Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor also said the armed forces are fully prepared to meet any eventuality.

"India recently claimed that 10 of their soldiers came in Pakistan's territory and killed Pakistani soldiers," he said, adding this is all "false propaganda" for their domestic audience to take the focus off Kashmir.

Addressing the media in Rawalpindi, Maj Gen Ghafoor also termed last year's "surgical strike" by India across LoC as "false propaganda". "You cannot lure us into such unprofessional undertakings."

The Indian Army sources in New Delhi earlier this week said a "small group" of 'Ghatak' commandos carried out a tactical level selective targeting of the Pakistani post around 200-300 metres across the LoC in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed and one was injured.

The operation is seen as avenging the killing of four Indian Army personnel by a Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army in Keri sector Rajouri district last week.

Maj Gen Ghafoor also rejected Indian concerns over treatment of Kulbushan Jadhav's family and said the Foreign Office had already given a detailed response to it.

"India always looks to reduce the relevance of any gestures that Pakistan makes. However, every effort that anti-Pakistan elements make, we will counter," he said.

"Even if we do something as a good gesture, the Indian media will colour it in a negative light. We allowed Jadhav to meet his family as a responsible state," he added.

He also accused India of a record number of ceasefire violation in 2017, which he claimed was being done to divert attention of Pakistan from fighting terrorism on its western border.

The spokesman also reiterated Pakistan's "moral, political, and diplomatic support" to Kashmiris.

He rejected the US demand to do more and Washington's allegations about the presence of "safe havens" of terrorists.

Ghafoor said Pakistan had fought against militants without any discrimination and destroyed their infrastructure.

"No organised infrastructure of any banned organisation is present in Pakistan. There are no facilitators [of terrorist groups] in Pakistan and we have gone a long way towards supporting peace in the region," he said.

The spokesman also rejected US Vice President Mike Pence's remarks in Afghanistan wherein he had said that US had put Pakistan on notice. "What kind of friends are we that we are being given notices," Ghafoor said.

When asked about former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's recent statements regarding "rogue elements" being responsible for Benazir Bhutto's death, he said: "I am the spokesperson for the sitting army chief and the media should ask Musharraf to defend his own statements. As of now, I can say that there are no rogue elements within the Pakistan Army."

He also responded to a question that Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif were allegedly targeting armed forces.

"We will maintain our silence on the matter as Pakistan's armed forces are well aware of the threats and challenges we are facing and our achievements against them; thus we will not be distracted," he said.

He said it was for the people to decide if there was a conspiracy against someone.

— PTI

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