New Delhi: The Indian army on Saturday said it had foiled an attempt of a Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) — comprising army regulars and terrorists —- to cross into India and attack Indian troops on patrol along the de facto line of control border in Kashmir. Four members of the BAT were killed in the process, it said.
Separately, the Indian Army slammed as “lies, deceit and deception" comments from Pakistan that accused New Delhi of using cluster bombs against civilians in Kashmir.
The bid to ambush Indian troops on patrol in the Keran sector took place over night Thursday, the Indian army said in a statement.
“Our own soldiers foiled the attempt inflicting heavy causalities on the infiltrating BAT team," the statement said adding the bodies of possibly four members of Pakistan’s Special Services Group Commandos or of terrorists were spotted on their side of the Line of Control “in close proximity of our own posts."
“Search operations and attempts to recover bodies are being continuously interfered by Pak troops deployed in the area," the statement said adding “These activities by Pakistan establish Pakistan’s complicity in terror activities and disrupt peace in Jammu and Kashmir."
In the last 36 hours, Pakistan has made many attempts to revive terrorism and push terrorists from the Jaish e Mohammed and other groups, the Indian army said.
At least four terrorists were killed in the past few days and many attempts have been made by Pakistan to target the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir, it said. India has already moved extra security personnel to Kashmir and asked pilgrims to return home in view of possible threats from attacks by terrorists.
Earlier on Saturday, an Indian army spokesman said: “The Pakistan army regularly attempts to push terrorists through infiltration and opens fire with a multitude of weapons to assist them (infiltrators)."
“India during numerous Directorate of Military Operations level talks has maintained the right to respond. Such responses are only against military targets and infiltrating terrorists who are aided by Pakistan army," the sharply worded statement said.
The Indian army statement followed Twitter posts by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the spokesman for Pakistan’s armed forces as well as Pakistan’s People’s Party leader Bilawal Bhutto slamming India for what they described as atrocities against Kashmiri civilians.
“Strongly condemn the blatant use of cluster ammunition by Indian Security Forces targeting innocent civilians along the Line Of Control. This is clear violation of the Geneva Convention & International Laws," Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a Twitter post.
Qureshi also posted a collage of pictures that included those of young children and adults with bandages and injuries in hospital. The pictures were not dated and therefore there was no way of ascertaining who and where the injured people were or which hospital was giving them medical attention.
This was followed by a comment on Twitter by Asit Ghafoor, spokesman for Pakistan’s Armed Forces who said in his post: “Use of cluster bombs by Indian Army violating international conventions is condemnable. No weapon can suppress determination of Kashmiris to get their right of self determination. Kashmir runs in blood of every Pakistani. Indigenous freedom struggle of Kashmiris shall succeed."
The two were supported by Bilawal Bhutto who in his Twitter post said: “ Use of cluster bombs by Indian Army in Kashmir is outrageous. India continues to flout international conventions in its bloody attempt to stifle aspirations of the people of Kashmir. The world continues to ignore human rights catastrophe. This must change if we are to have peace."
India has accused of Pakistan of fomenting terrorism in Kashmir, a charge that Islamabad denies, though it admits to extending moral, political and diplomatic support to what it describes as a freedom struggle in Kashmir.
India has maintained that Pakistan supports terrorism in Kashmir as it has failed to win the valley through wars with India. The two countries have fought four wars since 1947 when they both emerged as independent countries at the end of British rule in India.