News Despite casualties, evacuations, Army to keep Pakistan under sustained pressure

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The Indian security establishment is of the firm belief that the Pakistan Army has to be "kept under sustained pressure" till it "visibly and concretely clamps down" on the terror. The strategy revolves around pre-emptive strikes against Pak Army forward posts that actively abet infiltration

by Rajat Pandit

NEW DELHI: India is not going to relax the military pressure being exerted on Pakistan through targeted fire assaults and covert tactical operations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir despite mounting casualties and displacement of villagers on both sides.

The Indian security establishment is of the firm belief that the Pakistan Army has to be "kept under sustained pressure" till it "visibly and concretely clamps down" on the terror emanating from its soil."Let's see how long Pakistan, which is clearly feeling the pain, is able to withstand the pressure.We are not interested in any face-to-face DGMO talks or any rapprochement as of now," said a top official on Friday.

But with over 490 ceasefire violations (CFVs) already being recorded along the LoC this year, questions are being raised whether this hardline approach will lead to any tangible gains.Moreover, the continuing cross-border hostilities also strengthen the Pakistan Army's hold over its country's polity as far as India is concerned, further marginalizing the civilian leadership there.

The Indian establishment, however, contends there is "nothing to gain" from once again agreeing to the ceasefire, which came into force along the 778-km LoC, the 198-km International Border (IB) in J&K and the 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen as a confidence-building measure in November 2003, but has now been blown to smithereens.

The Pakistan Army-ISI combine used the ceasefire to "rejuvenate" its anti-India terror machinery."We also became complacent.The terror infrastructure in Pakistan and PoK remains intact, while 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed is now free to register his own political party," said a top Armyofficer.

"There are 300-400 terrorists currently waiting at launch pads along the LoC to infiltrate into J&K.Most of those who try to infiltrate are neutralised, in keeping with our policy to pro-actively dominate the LoC," he added.

The cross-border firing duels now frequently witness "calibre escalation" by both sides, with 120mm heavy mortars, anti-tank guided missiles and 105mm light field (artillery) guns coming into play.

Over 25 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in this war of attrition this year, apart from civilians, while India has lost 16 soldiers in J&K so far."Around 70 per cent of Pakistani soldiers are killed in tactical operations like guerilla raids and 30 per cent in CFVs," said another officer.

The hostilities escalated soon after Indian Para-Special Forces conducted the "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in four different locations in PoK to avenge the killing of 19 Indian soldiers in the Uri Army camp attack in September 2016.Last year, there were as many as 860 CFVs along the LoC and another 120 along the international border.

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