by Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU: Indian Army gave befitting reply to Pakistani troops’ unprovoked firing on their forward posts in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on Diwali festival last night in which at least three Pakistan army personnel were killed and two others were injured. Pakistan army’s provocative act came within hours of exchange of sweets by the Into-Pak troops at two places in Poonch district including Chakan-Da-Bagh and Hot Spring points.

Pakistan army has confirmed the killing of its one soldier. However, according to reliable sources, at least three Pakistani troopers were dead and two others injured. Indian retaliation was necessitated to thwart infiltration attempt by the militants, which they were reportedly planning to undertake under the cover of Pakistani firing, official sources told the Excelsior.

There was exchange of sweets and greeting on the eve of Diwali festival between Indian and Pakistan Army officials at two places in Poonch district. Yesterday, the BSF and Rangers exchanged sweets at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab on the occasion of Diwali.

Sources said late last night, Pakistan army targeted forward posts of Army in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and tried to push infiltrators under the cover of firing and darkness. Alert India troops immediately retaliated, leading to exchange of firing.

There were reports that at least three Pakistan army personnel were killed and two others injured in retaliatory firing. The infiltrators fled away towards their launching pads after heavy retaliatory firing brought down by the Indian side.

There were no casualties or damage on the Indian side, sources said.

An Inter State Public Relations (ISPR) Pakistan official handout confirmed the killing of a Pakistani trooper, whom it identified as Sepoy Zaheer Ahmad, a resident of village Sultanpur in Bhimber sector. It admitted that the Army jawan was killed in Thub sector opposite Nowshera in Rajouri district during heavy exchange of firing.

Reliable inputs, however, revealed that at least three Pakistani troopers were killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army and two others were injured. It may be mentioned here that Pakistan army never admits its exact casualties and is always in denial mode.

“First, the Pakistani troops never confirm their casualties and if at all they admit, they always downplay the figures,” sources said, adding that Pakistan army has suffered three times more casualties than what Indian Army has suffered in the enemy’s actions or while thwarting infiltration attempts.

Sources said Pakistan army was likely to intensify infiltration attempts by the militants in the month of November along the Line of Control (LoC) as the snowfall will close some of the infiltration routes in December. There have been reports that large number of militants have been camping at launching pads on Pakistan side of the LoC, waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate.

However, in view of high alert maintained by the Indian Army all along the LoC, the militants were finding it difficult to infiltrate. In twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region, where India shares LoC with Pakistan, there has been no successful infiltration attempt though Pakistani troops were regularly trying to abet intrusion bids by the militants, sources said.