The attack on the Line of Control (LoC), which led to mutilation of two Indian jawans last Monday, is believed to have been instructed by Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who had visited army positions in Haji Pir a day earlier, the intelligence and military sources have told Indian Express. The report quoted sources as saying that local commanders had suggested the need for retaliation strikes after Indian army’s artillery assault on April 17, that killed seven to ten soldiers.
This came after Lt General Nadeem Raza, of the Pakistan X Corps, rejected concerns that the retaliatory action may lead to escalation on the LoC, along with Major General Azhar Abbas, who heads Murree-based 12 Infantry Division, the report said further. Since last year, its units have been at the receiving end at of the artillery action by Indian forces.
“Ever since the cross-Line of Control strikes that followed the Uri terrorist attack, things haven’t really quietened down” an Indian intelligence official was quoted as saying by Indian Express. According to him, the skirmishing has been costly for the neighbouring country, which is perhaps trying to show India that it was now ready to risk escalation, despite the numerical weakness of its army position on the LoC.
Indian Army’s 15 and 16 Corps in Jammu and Kashmir is estimated to have deployed nearly 200,000-225,000 troops, which has the overwhelming numerical superiority against Pakistan. Pakistan’s X Corps, consists of 12 Infantry Division, 23 Infantry Division, 19 Infantry Division and Force Command Gilgit-Baltistan, has somewhat 100,000-125,000 soldiers, the report further said.
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General Bajwa has put Kashmir high on his agenda. He had visited the Kel sector in March and Bhimber sector in December and February. Haji Pir, where the Pakistani Army chief had visited last Sunday, was captured by India during the 1965 war but was soon returned in a territory-swap. It marks the northern end of India’s Krishna Ghati sector where the ambush took place last Monday.