The Indian Army’s action that targeted Pak army posts and terror launch pads in occupied Kashmir was carried out on April 10

The Indian Army’s artillery assault on terror launch pads at Dudhnial facing the Keran sector across the Line of Control (LoC) on April 10 killed eight terrorists and 15 Pakistan Army soldiers, two people in the security establishment told Hindustan Times.

It was a message to Pakistan, one of them said, that nothing goes unpunished.

On the banks of Kishanganga river, Dudhnial was targeted to retaliate to ceasefire violations by Pakistan. It was from this mountain town that the five terrorists neutralised by the Indian Army special forces in the Keran sector on April 5 had been launched.

Out of five terrorists killed, three belonged to Jammu and Kashmir and the other two had trained with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), people familiar with the development said. Efforts to establish their identity are still on.

Pakistan Army has confirmed that Indian Army fired in Sharda, Dudhnial and Shahkot sectors along the LoC, the de facto border. But it had claimed that only four civilians including a 15- year- old girl sustained serious injuries. Islamabad also blamed the Indian Army of 708 ceasefire violations in 2020, that it said, killed two civilians and injured another 42.

The Pakistan Army spokesperson also said the Pakistan Army countered the Indian assault by targeting Indian Army posts along the LoC with matching weapon calibre or simply put artillery guns and heavy mortars.

This, according to Indian intelligence reports, was an effort to camouflage the extent of the casualties on the Pakistani side.

According to these intelligence reports, 15 Pakistan army troopers were killed along with eight terrorists on April 10 when the army hit targets in the Keran sector using long-range ammunition. Some collateral damage, mostly shops where food and logistics supplies were stored, in the Dudhnial area have also been reported.

Pakistan watchers say that Indian Army had no option but to target the launch pads as nearly 160 terrorists of mixed Tanzeems—Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish e Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen — were waiting in the area to infiltrate into Kashmir.

The situation is no different in locations south of Pir Panjal in Rajouri and Jammu sector where intelligence reports pointed to the presence of 70 Jaish terrorists waiting for an opportunity to cross into India.

A senior intelligence official told HT that it was not a coincidence that violations of ceasefire are being reported from Balakote and Mendhar sectors, firing mortars along LoC. “The situation along the LoC is very hot right now as we speak,” he said.

Terrorists often sneak into Jammu and Kashmir under cover fire from the Pakistani army.

Intelligence agencies have estimated that there are a total of about 242 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. According to Kashmir experts, past experience shows that the moment this number crosses 300, there will be a spike in violence and targeted attacks on security forces and political leaders who speak out against Pakistan.