India vs Pakistan: War of words continues over LoC killings

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New Delhi, Jan 15: First came the shocker when two Indian jawans were killed and their bodies subjected to barbaric and inhuman mutilation by Pakistani soldiers at Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch. Indian establishment expressed its strong protest against it and said that Pakistan's actions are tantamount to a war crime.

The Indian Army was quiet for sometime. However, finally on Monday, Jan 14, Army Chief General Bikram Singh broke his silence and warned Pakistan of retaliation.

Singh has made it clear that the Indian soldiers deployed in Jammu and Kashmir will strike back strongly if there is any further provocation from their Pakistani counterparts.

"I expect all my commanders on the LoC to be aggressive and offensive in face of provocation and fire...No passivity is expected from them. Their response has to be measured and for effect," said a tough-talking General Bikram Singh, a day ahead of Army Day celebrations.

He condemned Pakistani troops for flouting rules of engagement by mutilating the bodies of Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. The Army Chief termed the killings as a "gruesome and unpardonable act".

Pointing out that the decapitation of Hemraj has "strategic nuances", Singh emphasised: "Beheading of our soldiers is unacceptable." He said that India will lodge a strong protest over the incident at the brigadier-level flag meeting between the two sides today.

However, Pakistan continued to deny all the charges made by Indian establishment against its soldiers.

Moreover, Pakistan's top army officials said India was blowing things out of proportions.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Retired Pakistan Air Vice Marshal Abid Rao said, "First of all, if what you have said is right, I condemn it. The statements given by your Army Chief and your Air Chief...they are blowing the issue beyond proportion. These things can be settled in local flag meeting. Don't blow it out of proportion where public sentiment is also blown up to an extent where people are talking about revenge."

As soldiers on both sides of Indo-Pak border continue to exchange bullets at LoC, time will only tell whether accusations flying thick and high from authorities in both countries will help in de-escalating the growing tension.

OneIndia News

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