India strikes across the border, Pakistan rubbishes claims

India strikes across the border, Pakistan rubbishes claims

New Delhi - The strikes were aimed at thwarting a series of attacks being planned against major cities, a senior army officer said Thursday.


Published: Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:28 AM

India's military has carried out "surgical strikes" along the de facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir to thwart a series of attacks being planned against major cities, a senior army officer said on Thursday, drawing sharp criticism from Pakistani officials.

"Some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control," Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, the army's director-general of military operations, said in reference to the unofficial border in divided Kashmir.
Also read: India's claim of strikes fabrication of truth, says Pakistan
"The Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launchpads. Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Indian army has shared key facts about where and how the 'surgical strikes' were conducted, reports NDTV1. The strikes were carried out 500 metres to 2km inside Pakistan's territory
2. Surgical strikes targeted 5 to 8 launchpads
3. It started past midnight, ended at 4:30am India time today
4. Massive casualties of terrorists, their guides and handlers
5. The suspected militants were planning to attack within Jammu and Kashmir and in metros
6. Strikes conducted after surveillance over 7 days
7. Helicopters were used along with ground troops
(Info from NDTV)
Pakistan Air Force says it is ready to combat external aggression
Amid the intense diplomatic stand-off between New Delhi and Islamabad and cross-border firing, the Pakistan Air Force said on Thursday it is vigilant at all times and ready to combat any external aggression.
The statement from the Pakistan Air Force came in response to the "unprovoked" firing by Indian forces across the Line of Control (LoC) early Thursday, in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed.
The spokesperson said India's claim that it was a "surgical strike" is based on a "fabricated lie".
The PAF will protect Pakistan's air limits at any cost, the spokesperson said.
BSF cancels Retreat at Attari-Wagah border
 The Border Security Force (BSF) has cancelled the 'Retreat' ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border joint check-post (JCP) at Attari, 30 km from Amritsar, officials said on Thursday.

The BSF and district authorities have asked visitors and tourists not to move towards Attari for the ceremony on Thursday. It is not clear when the ceremony will resume.
The Retreat ceremony is carried out by border guards of India and Pakistan, the BSF and Pakistan Rangers, at the Attari-Wagah JCP at sunset every evening.
The 30-minute ceremony is watched by hundreds from both countries daily.
Search mounted for terrorists near LoC  
The army on Thursday launched a search for terrorists along the Loc in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district after the Indian and Pakistani militaries exchanged fire.
"Search operations have been started in Mendhar sector following the ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army," a police official said here.
He said the searches were mounted to find out if terrorists had sneaked into India under the cover of Pakistani fire.
Punjab orders evacuation of villages in 10-km border belt
 The Punjab government has ordered the evacuation of villages in a 10-km belt along the border with Pakistan following the surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC.
The union home ministry on Thursday directed the Punjab government to get the border villages evacuated.
Local authorities were using loudspeakers to announce to residents in the border villages to leave their homes and villages and move to safer zones.
The authorities have ordered the closure of schools and other institutions in the border belt.
Punjab's border districts include Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Abohar and Fazilka.
Informed sources said the Border Security Force (BSF) was mobilising its troops and strengthening the security along the border belt. Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called an emergency meeting of the cabinet on Thursday evening.
'China in touch with India, Pak to bring down tensions'
China on Thursday said it is in touch with India and Pakistan through different channels to bring down tensions, asking them to properly deal with their differences and work jointly to maintain peace and security in the region.
"As for the tension between Pakistan and India, recently Chinese side has been in communication with both sides through different channels," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media briefing here. "We hope that Indian and Pakistan can enhance communication and properly deal with difference and work jointly to maintain peace and security of the region," he said replying to questions whether the current tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad in the aftermath of Uri attack figured in the first anti-terrorism dialogue held between China and India here earlier this week.
Asked at what level China is in touch with both countries, Geng said China maintains frequent engagement at different levels with both India and Pakistan.
"China is friendly neighbour to India and Pakistan. China hopes that both the countries could properly deal with their differences dialogue and consultant and improve their bilateral relationship, strengthen cooperation in different fields and work jointly for regional peace and development and stability," he said. 
Nawaz Sharif calls federal cabinet meeting on Friday
Amid "surgical strikes" which India claimed it carried out on terrorist launch pads across the LoC, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the federal cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss the growing tensions between India and Pakistan.
Officials from the Interior and Defense ministries will brief the Prime Minister over national security, an official statement from the Prime Minister's House stated.
The meeting will also discuss Indian "atrocities" in the Kashmir Valley and the threats to Pakistan, it said.
Pakistani rebel chief says would welcome help from India
The elusive leader of a major rebel group fighting for independence in Pakistan's Baluchistan province said he would welcome cash and other help from India, words likely to alarm Islamabad which accuses New Delhi of stirring trouble there. 
In his first video interview in five years, Allah Nazar Baloch, head of the ethnic Baluch group Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF), also vowed further attacks on a Chinese economic corridor, parts of which run through the resource-rich province. 
The planned $46 billion trade route is expected to link western China with Pakistan's Arabian Sea via a network of roads, railways and energy pipelines. 
"We not only wish India should support the Baluch national struggle diplomatically and financially, but the whole world," said Baloch, a doctor-turned-guerrilla believed to be about 50, in filmed responses to questions sent by Reuters. 
Congress supports surgical strikes across LoC
The Congress on Thursday wholeheartedly supported the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).
"The Congress wholeheartedly supports the surgical strike on terror (launch) pads in PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) by Indian Army. Salute the valour of our armed forces," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, too, congratulated the Indian army for undertaking surgical strikes on terror launch pads. "We stand completely behind our Armed Forces," he said.
Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, said the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC inflicting heavy casualties.
High alert in Punjab border areas
Villages along Punjab's border with Pakistan were put on high alert on Thursday after the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on the LoC, official sources said.
Schools in the border belt were ordered closed following the escalation of tension along the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources said.
There were reports that the Punjab government, following directions from the union home ministry, could order evacuation of villages in a 10-km area along the border with Pakistan in Punjab.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called a meeting in this regard later on Thursday.
Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan that is manned by the para-military Border Security Force (BSF)
Being a frontier state, Punjab has seen most action in both the wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
Rajnath informs CMs, national leaders about 'surgical strike'
Shortly after an announcement that India carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed key national leaders and chief ministers about the military operations.
According to official sources here, the Home Minister also informed Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
The government has convened an all-party meeting in the capital on Thursday which will be addressed among others by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the all-party meeting, Rajnath Singh was likely to brief leaders about internal security situation in the country, sources said.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari were also apprised about the strikes.
Two Pakistani soldiers killed in exchange of fire with India in Kashmir
In a fresh anti-India tirade, Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif threatened to use nuclear weapons in case of war with India, saying his country has not made atomic device to display in a showcase.
Pakistan PM condemns Indian 'naked aggression' in KashmirPakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the "naked aggression of Indian forces" after two Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing along the Line of Control that divides the territory of Kashmir.
A statement from Sharif's office said he "strongly condemned the unprovoked and naked aggression of Indian forces" and vowed the military was capable of thwarting "any evil design to undermine the sovereignty of Pakistan".
"We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us. Pakistan army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India," Asif told private TV channel SAMAA.
He was replying to a question about India's intention to carry out surgical strike in Pakistan.
Pakistan's Defence Minister threatens to use nukes against India
"We have not made atomic device to display in a showcase. If a such a situation arises we will use it and eliminate India," Asif told the channel.
He said Pakistan Air Force is ready to give a befitting response to India if it violates Pakistan's airspace.
In the telecast on September 26, he said.
"Tactical weapons joh hain, joh hamne yeh progammes develop kiya hua hai, yeh apne hifazat ke liye develop kiya hua hai. Hamne devices jo hain just as showpieces toh nahin rakhe hue. Lekin agar hamare salamati ko khatra hua, toh hum nestanabhut kar denge unko (Tactical weapons, our programmes that we have developed, they have been developed for our protection. We haven't kept the devices that we have just as showpieces. But if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India)."
His latest salvo comes in the wake the assault on an Indian army base in Uri that killed 18 soldiers.

President, Vice-President briefed on surgical strikes  
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were on Thursday briefed on the surgical strikes on launch pads of terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC), sources said.
They said Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti were also briefed about the strikes.
The Indian Army has said it caused "significant casualties" on terrorists and those who support them during surgical strikes on Wednesday night.
Government calls all-party meeting after surgical strikes
The government has called an all-party meeting on Thursday in the wake of surgical strikes across the India-Pakistan border late on Wednesday night.
"We are with the army because they know the situation well and have been facing all the challenges. We will speak after the all-party meeting, which has been convened by the government today around 4 p.m.," Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar told reporters here.
India caused "significant casualties" on terrorists and those supporting them during the surgical strikes across the India-Pakistan border on Wednesday night, the Indian Army earlier said. 
'Plan devised by India itself'
The Pakistani minister has also alleged that the attack was a "plan devised by India itself".
Maintaining that no proof implicating Pakistan in the Uri attack had surfaced yet, Asif told Dawn News that "it was evident the attack was a plan devised by India itself."
He claimed that India "orchestrated Uri attack to divert the attention of the world from the Kashmir issue".
Major attacks in Jammu and Kashmir since 1999
India has said it has evidence showing involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in the Uri attack and demanded that Islamabad refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism directed against this country.
The minister claimed that the "entire world knows now that India is not as serious about resolving the Kashmir dispute as Pakistan is".
He claimed India has not received support from anywhere despite launching a diatribe against Pakistan and added that China had, on the other hand, supported Pakistan's viewpoint.
Commenting on a bill moved in the US Congress to label Pakistan as a terrorist state, he said that anti-Pakistan elements are present in each and every country but the impacts of their voices depend on the policies of these countries.
"Five or 10 voices raised against us are not enough evidence to declare Pakistan a terrorist state," he said.
Meanwhile, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa has said Pakistan's eastern borders are under close monitoring of the security forces who are ready to respond to any aggression.
Saarc summit: Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh join India in boycott
He urged people to be vigilant and keep an eye on any suspected movement in the border areas.

Indian equities tumble on news of surgical strikes
The S&P BSE benchmark Sensex showed the biggest fall after three months, tumbling by 465 points to end at 27,827.53 due to heavy selling pressure on geopolitical concerns after Indian Army in a press conference revealed that India conducted surgical strikes against chosen terror camps inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir late on Thursday night.

The NSE 50-share Nifty also dropped by 153.90 points or 1.76 per cent to close at 8,591.25, also showing the biggest fall after three months. It had dropped by 181.85 points on June 24, 2016.

Shares of realty, power, utilities, industrials, healthcare, metal, consumer durables and finance sectors fell on heavy selling pressure.

The Sensex had opened higher at 28,423.14 and and firmed up further to a high of 28,475.57 on initial buying. However, it fell afterwards to 27,719.92 before finishing at 27,827.53, showing the biggest loss of 465.28 points or 1.64 per cent after 3 months. The Sensex had dropped by 604.51 points on June 24, 2016.

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