NEW DELHI / SRINAGAR : In a bid to escalate tension along the LoC, Pakistan renewed unprovoked shelling of Indian Army emplacements and villages along the LoC with artillery on Wednesday even as its government continued its crackdown on terror outfits in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan provinces, making for mixed signals, after the Balakot strike.
“They have introduced heavy calibre weapons”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement in New Delhi, adding, “Pakistan forces targeted Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs and heavy artillery fire but drew swift and precise response. There has been no casualty on the Indian side.”
The statement added, “Post our warning to the Pakistan Army not to target civilian areas, the overall situation along the LoC remains relatively calm.”
It warned that any further provocation by Pakistan will be responded to in a befitting manner with dire consequences. Former artillery officer Lt Gen VK Chaturvedi believes shelling with mortar and grenades is normal, but introducing artillery is not. The artillery range is longer and the intention is damage, which suggests attempts at escalating the situation, he said.
In Jammu, defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors in Rajouri around 10.30 am shelling even civilian areas and were met with return fire with ‘similar’ calibre weapons. Krishna Ghati was targeted through the night. Barring for a 24-hour lull on Saturday, the LoC has witnessed heavy and intense Pakistani fire since February 26.
China rushes minister
China said Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou is in Islamabad to discuss Indo-Pak tensions, as it called for the creation of an “enabling atmosphere” for Pakistan to cooperate. China said Kong’s Islamabad visit is “designed for communication with Pakistan for the situation concerning both the countries.”