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Rajat Pandit | TNN | Jan 15, 2013 | New Delhi :: India on Monday demonstrated its renewed resolve to fight fire with fire along the volatile Line of Control, directing all its battalion commanders on the fiercely-contested boundary to retaliate with all their might if the Pakistani Army provokes them by violating the ceasefire or pushing militants into J&K.
“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.
The fact that the Army chief issued an unequivocal warning to Pakistan to cease and desist from misadventures along the border is a confirmation there is going to be no immediate de-escalation of tension, especially as a defiant Pakistan refused to own up to the beheading of an Indian soldier and mutilation of another’s body by its elite SSG commandos on January 8.
Speaking around the same time that Pakistan brushed aside India’s charges at the brigadier-level flag meeting at the Chakkan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district, Gen Singh accused Islamabad of resorting to “outright lies”.
Pakistani Army’s cross-border raid on January 8 was a “premeditated and pre-planned” operation that would have needed at least 10 days of preparation and reconnaissance, he said. The Indian jawan’s beheading was a “gruesome, most unpardonable act” that went against the “basic ethics” of soldering and tenets of the Geneva Convention, he added. >>Read details in TOI.
New Delhi | Jan 15, 2013 :: Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh hit out strongly at Pakistan over the killing of two Indian soldiers and continuous ceasefire violation. He warned Pakistan that the Indian Army will retaliate to Pakistan’s attack. “I have given very categorical directions to the Northern Command. When we are provoked we shall respond immediately. I expect my commanders to be aggressive in the face of firing. We will retaliate to Pakistan’s attack at a place and time of our choosing,” General Bikram Singh said.
Talking tough against Pakistan, General Bikram Singh rejected Pakistan’s claims of an Indian operation at the Line of Control killing one soldier. “No operation was carried out by the Indian Army on January 6 as claimed by Pakistan,” General Bikram Singh said.
He called the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistan ‘gruesome’ and ‘unpardonable’ and said beheading the soldier was unacceptable. “This incident has had strategic nuances, beheading our soldiers is not acceptable. The act was against ethics and principles of rules of engagement,” General Singh said. He added that India will register a strong protest at the flag meet of the two countries.
General Bikram Singh also said that Pakistan Army’s attack in Mendhar was pre-planned.
The long awaited flag meeting between Indian and Pakistani commanders in the Poonch sector will take place on Monday afternoon. India had requested for the Brigadier-level flag meet in an attempt to ease the tension at the India-Pakistan border. >>Read details in IBN Live.