The Pakistan Army, which has been losing a large number of soldiers in Indian retaliations to ceasefire violations, has deployed more troops to the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB), Hindustan Times has reported.
In the past few months, India has adopted a policy of massive response to all ceasefire violations. By some accounts, the army is responding to Pakistan’s provocation using heavy equipment, including artillery. The Army has reportedly brought back artillery guns for the first time in 15 years along the 15 Corps Zone, north of the Pir Panjal mountain range, to respond to Pakistani provocations.
According to the report in Hindustan Times, Pakistan has moved troops from Kotli, Mirpur and Rawalpindi to match Indian deployment on the LoC.
“Since the November 26, 2003 ceasefire, the Pakistan army’s headcount was half for the same area as the Indian Army. While the Pakistan Army was under no stress or pressure, the Indian Army was facing the brunt on the LoC as it was being targeted by infiltrators as well as border action teams of terrorist groups,” the daily quoted an Army commander as saying. “With Indian Army now responding to each and every firing from the other side, the Pakistan army also cannot afford to relax anymore as there is always a fear of September 29, 2016,” he said, referring to the surgical strike conducted by the Indian army in 2017.
Pakistan has not been revealing the number of casualties it has suffered in Indian retaliation in the past few months, even to the country’s parliament, fueling speculation that the figure is higher than it is believed to be. According to some reports, the Indian Army inflicted 20 casualties on Pakistan Army in the first one-and-a-half months of the current year.
There were 633 ceasefire violations along the LoC in the first two months of 2018. In comparison, the total number of ceasefire violations in 2017 was 860.
“We will continue our tough posture both on the border as well on the counter-insurgency grid in J and K hinterland and ensure that neither Pakistan nor its supporters in the valley hold the levers of violence in the state,” said the army officer. “Instructions to rebuild bunkers have been issued to civilian administration as well as beefing up defences of civilian population close to the border,” he added.
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