NEW DELHI: The Indian Army is carrying out "pinpoint strikes" on suspected terror launchpads inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in response to Pakistani military's unrelenting efforts to push maximum number of terrorists into India before the onset of harsh winters, sources in the security establishment said on Thursday.
The 'deep state' in Pakistan has tried to manage a fine balance between escaping the scrutiny by global anti-terror watchdog FATF and supporting terror at the same time with an aim to fuel unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.
In the last few weeks, Pakistan Army has been aggressively targeting civilians on Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) by resorting to indiscriminate firing by heavy calibre artillery guns to support infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, they said.
This year, 21 innocent civilians have lost their lives in Pakistani firing compared to 18 in the whole of 2019, according to official data.
The sources said intelligence-based targeted strikes are being conducted by the Indian Army to neutralise mostly Pakistani and foreign terrorists, and the collateral damage has been very negligible in these operations.
The new pattern being followed by Islamabad in "inciting" unrest and arm the youths in Jammu and Kashmir has been to avoid any trace of its involvement in view of the growing international pressure on it to take action against terror groups operating from its soil, they said.
"Pakistan has sought to target the peaceful villagers living alongside the Indian side of the LoC in order to send a message to the inhabitants of Kashmiri hinterland that to disobey Pakistani diktats and directives on terrorism will prove lethal," said a military source.
Triggering a major flare up, Pakistan resorted to heavy shelling in several areas along the LoC in north Kashmir on Friday killing five security personnel apart from at least four civilians.
The Indian Army mounted a major retaliation pounding several Pakistani positions with anti-tank guided missiles and artillery guns in which at least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed and 12 others injured.
"Pakistan Army's actions to exclusively target civilians are countered by Indian Army's pinpoint strikes on suspected launchpads inside Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir," the source said, adding deaths of terrorists in the area are shown as civilian deaths by Pakistan in order to garner sympathy and aid from foreign donors.
Pakistani military has also been resorting to firing at Indian Army posts along the LoC with heavy calibre weapons, the sources said.
This year eight infiltration bids were foiled and 14 terrorists have been neutralised along the LoC, according to official data.
The sources said Pakistan has been strongly guarding the location of terrorist training camps following India's Balakot air strikes last year.
Indian war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26 last year in response to Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.
The Indian action reflected a doctrinal change in the country's approach in tackling cross border terrorism.
The sources said Pakistan's efforts to incite violence inside Kashmir valley and disrupt the lives of common citizens have proved "futile" as an increasing number of youths have surrendered to join the mainstream.
"Increasing number of misguided youth who were lured by the false narratives from Pakistan and joined terrorist tanzeems are surrendering to the security forces after concerted efforts were made to reach out to them through their parents, friends and relatives," according to a security official.
He said a revamped liberal policy of surrender and rehabilitation has encouraged militants to return to the national mainstream.
To mislead the international community and reduce signatures of Islamic identity of terrorists, the deep state has created new entities on the social media, the sources, adding the endeavour is to somehow catch the imagination of the youth and arm them.
Apparently, these groups are unknown to people of Kashmir, they said.
Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic in the region, Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC and making concerted efforts to push militants into Kashmir.
Pakistani hostilities increased after India announced its decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two union territories in August last year.