NEW DELHI: An "outraged" India on Wednesday told Pakistan that its Army Personnel from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (Pok) crossed over the LoC and mutilated the bodies of the Indian soldiers. India also pointed out the barbarism of the act as it informed Pakistan that a blood trail was found till the LoC in the Krishnaghati sector belonging to slain Indian soldiers hinting that the mutilated part of the body was carried across the de-facto border between the two countries.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan's Envoy Abdul Basit in the afternoon and issued a demarche to inform that Indian investigating agencies have found “sufficient” evidence regarding the involvement of Pakistan Army personnel in the mutilating of two Indian soldiers – one from the Army and one from the Border Security Force (BSF) on May 1.
However, the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tied himself in knots while putting across the official version on the evidence of the involvement of Pakistan Army in the incident. Addressing the media Baglay averred that there was a “trail of blood” on Roza Nalla that “clearly” suggests that the killers returned across the LoC. However, when asked to clarify whose blood sample was it, Baglay said that it belonged to Pakistan Army personnel. This created confusion and some pointed questions were asked as to how it was discerned that the blood samples belonged to an Indian or a Pakistani; and if it was a Pakistani’s blood how did Indian investigating agencies found it belonged to a civilian or military personnel. Following this Baglay returned to the first version that the blood trail was of Indian soldiers.
The Foreign Secretary has not provided evidence to Pakistan Envoy, who has denied involvement of Pakistan Army personnel in the Act. When asked for “actionable evidence” Jaishankar informed Basit that the incident was preceded by “covering fire from Pakistani posts in Battal sector (in vicinity of village Battal)".
Regardless of the diplomatic flip-flop, the incident has sparked calls for revenge in India and the incident has made the already low Indo-Pak relations to plunge further. Following the Uri terror attack in September 2016, India had responded with surgical strikes, however, that has not stopped the constant escalation of violence between the two countries. India has been continuing to raise the issue on international forums to isolate Pakistan but that has not abated the cross-border sponsorship of terrorism. With elections due next year in Pakistan the Army would definitely like to project upper hand over the civilian leadership. Meanwhile, the South Block mandarins are thinking hard to increase cost for Pakistan.