New Delhi: The Indian Army has informed the Pakistani military that it will continue hitting back along the Line of Control (LoC) until Islamabad stops launching its Border Action Teams (BAT) and pushing terror groups into India.

Top defence sources told ThePrint that India made its stand clear during Military Operations Directorate-level talks over a hotline. They claimed that the phone call was initiated by Pakistan, which admitted to large-scale damage on its side, including civilians being affected, by Indian artillery fire along the LoC.

The Indian side had been responding to heavy ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the LoC since the air raid on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp at Balakot on 26 February. Sources said that India opened up its Bofors guns to target Pakistani posts indulging in the ceasefire violations.

India has made it absolutely clear that the army retaliated to ceasefire violations and targeted only military positions that were supporting BAT and terror activities, the sources said.

According to the sources, recent intelligence inputs had suggested that Pakistan was planning to launch a number of BAT operations. The BAT teams consist of both terrorists and Pakistan army commandos. They specialise in setting up ambushes along the LoC, targeting Indian soldiers on patrol, and in the past have been known to sever the heads of Indian soldiers and disfigure their bodies.

Unprovoked Firing By India, Says Pak

Pakistan had Wednesday summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad for what it termed as “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces along the LoC, which killed a civilian.

Foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the ceasefire violations by Indian forces on 1 April and 2 April, a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office had said.

In a rare admission of casualties on its side, Pakistan had on 2 April also said that three of its soldiers were killed by the Indian army.

Defence sources, however, said that the Pakistan Army has suffered over two dozen casualties since it began violating the ceasefire agreement at the LoC. They added that it has cited a much lower figure to distract from the row over Facebook banning several Pakistani pages and handles that were spreading hatred against India.

The ban by Facebook was a severe setback to ISPR, the publicity wing of the Pakistani military, its main weapon for misinformation.