India’s Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen A K Bhatt on Monday blamed Pakistan for using civilians to spy on Indian posts and guide terrorists while sneaking across the border.
Lt Gen Bhatt told his Pakistani counterpart that it is the Pakistani Army that has been repeatedly using civilians to collect information on the location of Indian posts and guide terrorists to cross the Line of Control (LoC).
The unscheduled conversation between the two commanders happened around 2 pm in the afternoon. The request for the telephone talk came from the Pakistani side.
When Pakistan DGMO Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza claimed that Indian security forces had resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC, Lt Gen Bhatt sternly told him that firing by Indian troops was only retaliatory in nature and being a professional force, the Indian Army does not direct its fire against any civilians.
“On the contrary, the Pakistani Army has employed civilians at forward posts and accorded permission for permanent locations of civilians in the vicinity of their army posts. These civilians have repeatedly been used for gaining information on our locations and guiding terrorists while crossing the LoC,” Lt Gen Bhatt told the Pakistani officer.
Lt Gen Bhatt also conveyed to the Pakistani officer that the support provided to terrorists by the Pakistan Army, while crossing the LoC, was the prime reason for any collateral damage. He also reiterated that this support to terrorism was unacceptable.
“The Indian Army will continue to take all retaliatory measures as well as retain the right to punitively respond to such provocative acts of aggression from Pak side in future too,” said a defence ministry statement quoting the Indian DGMO.