India has carried out surgical strikes targeting "launchpads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, said the Indian Army. According to a report by The Hindu, the strike was carried out on Wednesday night, senior military and diplomatic sources informed the media at a hurriedly called media briefing at the Ministry of External Affairs.
"Based on very specific and credible information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned itself along the line of control, India Army carried out surgical strikes last night at these launch pads. The operations were focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in endangering lives of citizens in our country. During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who were trying to support them. The operations have since ceased,” Director General of Military Operations Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh said.
He sought the support of the Pakistan Army in erasing the menace of terrorism. Pakistan has responded to the government statement saying there has been "no such strike."
"We do not have any plans to continue. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any contingency which may arise. I have spoken to Pakistani DGMO and expressed our concern. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region but we cannot certainly allow terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack our citizens,” said the DGMO.
The attack was carried out following the September 18 terror strike in Uri that claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers.
The DGMO pointed out that during the investigation of the terror attack, the proof of the involvement of Pakistani elements was clearly discovered.
PM Narendra Modi had informed President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President and former Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh on the surgical strikes. Jammu and Kashmir Governor and CM Mehbooba Mufti have also been informed about the surgical strike.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has informed Chief Ministers of Punjab, West Bengal and Odisha, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad about surgical strikes.
India tried to solve the situation from the Uri attack at the diplomatic level but did not receive an adequate response, he said. Earlier on Thursday morning, Army officials briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the srcurity situation at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. A meeting the Prime Minister due to thold on reviewing the MFN status to Pakistan was postponed to next week, the Prime Minister's Office said.
In a statement on its website, the DG-ISPR of the Pakistani army said that there had been a major exchange of fire overnight, in which two Pakistani rangers were killed.
"Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing in Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors which started at 0230 and continued till 0800” the Pakistani military spokesperson claimed.
Responding to Indian government’s statement that security forces conducted a surgical strike across Line of Control on Wednesday night, Pakistan said there has been no such strike.
"Instead, there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is existential phenomenon. As per rules of engagement, same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops,” said a Pakistan government statement.
Pakistan said: "The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects. This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is fabrication of truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, same will be strongly responded.”
India had repeatedly warned Pakistan not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities. Besides, India had called for an international diplomatic boycott of Pakistan as it shielded terrorists on its land. At the United Nations General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Pakistan was a terror state and it need to rein in terror elements.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security to discuss the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. Also present at the meeting were Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval, and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.