Source: Xinhua 2016-10-06 23:04:42 ISLAMABAD, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) —
The Pakistani military blamed Indian forces for the current cross Line of Control (LoC) tension escalations, and added that Pakistan has prepared its own contingency plan to deal with any situation, according to an army spokesman here on Thursday.
Lt. General Asim Bajwa, director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), told Xinhua in an exclusive interview at the ISPR headquarters in Rawalpindi that it was Indian troops who have initiated violation of 2003 ceasefire along the LoC, which divide the nuclear rivals in the disputed Kashmir region.
“The Indian forces violated the Line of Control by fire and then few hours later they made a false claim about surgical strikes’ across the Line of Control. We did check everything on ground and we found the claim was absolutely false,” the army spokesman said in his first ever formal interview with a foreign media since the tension escalated on early Sept. 29.
He further said Indian forces fired into the Pakistani side everyday since then, adding that the Indian fire came to a maximum on Wednesday as they fired over 25,000 rounds with small arms — rifles and machine-guns as well as mortars.
“What we see is that there is more intensified firing along the LoC, and of course, when there is more fire, the situation does escalate. The environment also escalates when there is more rhetoric and more statement and more pronouncements” by the Indian side, Bajwa said.
His comments came amid cross LoC firing started in early hours on Sept. 29 in the wake of a deadliest attack on a military base at Uri in the Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sept. 18.
No group has claimed the Uri attack. India said death toll from the attack reached 19 and has blamed Pakistan for the incident. But Islamabad denied the Indian accusation.
At least two Pakistani soldiers have been killed while nine injured in the Indian firing over the past week, the general said, adding that some eight civilians were also injured in the Indian shelling.
Meanwhile, the army spokesman emphasized the importance of resolving current tension through dialogue. He said contacts between Pakistani and Indian armies are maintained, confirming that the Director Generals of the Military Operations have talked over the phone after the start of the cross LoC firing.
“All communication channels including the hotline between the two militaries are open,” he said, adding that the UN Military Observer Group in Pakistan and India also monitor the situation and report to its headquarters.
“Pakistan wants peacefully neighborly relations with all countries in the region and that is the policy of the state of Pakistan and that is the policy of the political government and every element of power in the country follows the same policy,” said Bajwa.
On Wednesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the parliament that his country wants to resolve disputes with Indian through dialogue. Meanwhile he said that “Pakistan is a responsible state, but its desire of peace should not be considered as its weakness,” adding that the armed forces are capable of thwarting any foreign aggression effectively.
As the tensions continued over the past days, New Delhi has refused to attend a regional summit in Islamabad that was to be held in November. The conference has been postponed after India’s refusal. Earlier, India also suspended talks with Pakistan after an attack in January on an Indian airbase in Pathankot.