Islamabad, September 29: At least two Pakistan army soldiers were killed as Indian troops fired across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday, dismissing the Indian claim of ‘surgical strikes.’
“India’s claims of surgical strikes are baseless,” DG ISPR Asim Bajwa said in a statement. “There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India.”
The media military wing added, “As per rules of engagement same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops”.
The exchange of fire took place in the Bhimber, Hot Spring, Kel and Lipa sectors, and lasted about six hours early on Thursday, the military’s media wing said.
Bajwa said the notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorist bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects.
“This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by re-branding cross-border fire as surgical strike is fabrication of truth,” the statement said. “Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, same will be strongly responded.”
India’s military had claimed it carried out “surgical strikes” along the de facto border with Pakistan in AJK to thwart a series of attacks being planned against major cities.
“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.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Indian claims of surgical strikes were a lie, adding small firearms were used during the skirmish across the LoC and Pakistani forces responded in a befitting manner.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the “naked aggression of Indian forces”.
A statement from the Prime Minister’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”.