Dawn – India will retaliate to soldiers’ mutilation at time and place of choosing: Indian vice-COAS

Karachi, 03 May 2017. Despite Islamabad’s repeated rejection of Indian army claims that Pakistani soldiers had killed two Indian soldiers across the Line of Control (LoC) and mutilated their bodies, Indian Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt General Sarath Chand on Tuesday said what the Indian Army “will do” could not be discussed in public, The Hindu reported.

“We will do it at the time and place of our choosing”, Chand threatened, speaking at a public event.

Earlier this week, the Indian army had alleged that Pakistani forces fired rockets and mortar bombs at two Indian posts across the LoC and mutilated the bodies of two soldiers on patrol. The allegation was strongly refuted by the Pakistan Army.

“They said today their forces have not done it. Then who has done it? They have done it and they have to take responsibility and face the consequences,” Chand accused, disregarding Pakistan’s dismissal of the claims.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit was also summoned by the Indian foreign ministry to register a ‘strong protest’ against the mutilation of the soldiers, The Economic Times reported.

According to India’s External Affairs spokesman Gopal Baglay, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar conveyed to Basit “outrage at the killing and the barbaric act of mutilation” of the soldiers.

During a routine weekly hotline contact between the director generals military operations (DGMO) on May 1, the Pakistan Army had rejected the “baseless and unfounded Indian allegations of mutilation of the bodies of Indian army by the Pakistan Army”.

Pakistan’s DGMO had asked his Indian counterpart to provide “actionable evidence” related to the incident and urged the Indian army to look inwards to probe the incident, the ISPR said.

At the time, Pakistan’s DGMO had reiterated that neither had a ceasefire violation occurred in the specified sector, nor had Pakistani troops crossed the LoC.

The military’s media wing said the Pakistani DGMO also highlighted that Pakistan Army was a professional military outfit and upheld the highest standards of conduct.

Interestingly, in January 2013, India had made a similar allegation that Pakistani troops had killed and mutilated two Indian soldiers in Mendhar sector, but investigations by Pakistan Army had found no evidence of the deaths.

The situation along the LoC has been tense, notwithstanding a truce agreement signed by the two sides in November 2003, particularly after the September 2016 attack by suspected militants on an Indian army base in Uri, which had left 18 Indian soldiers dead.

After the attack, India claimed that its troops had conducted surgical strikes across the LoC, but the claim was rejected by Pakistan.

Ever since, a number of civilian and military casualties have occurred on both sides of the divide in cross-border shelling and firing incidents.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1330804/india-will-retaliate-to-soldiers-mutilation-at-time-and-place-of-choosing-indian-vice-coas

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