‘Pakistan to give befitting reply in case of Indian surgical strike’

Islamabad, Jan 16 (IANS) Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday said the country’s armed forces would respond with full force if India tried to carry out any surgical strikes inside Pakistan. This comes days after Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said that “surgical strikes in Pakistan can not be ruled out”.

Khawaja Asif, in a fiery speech, said: “If India dared to carry out surgical strikes inside Pakistan, a befitting response would be meted out.”

He also said that India’s past claims of surgical strikes were found to be “baseless and false”.

Asif claimed that the Kashmiri struggle for freedom, India’s internal political compulsion, and its avoidance of composite dialogue were among the reasons behind its ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and International Border.

He informed the Senate that India had carried out 330 ceasefire violations — 290 along the LoC and 40 along the IB — until December 2016, in which 45 civilians were killed and 138 others injured.

The frequency of violations had declined after December, he said.

Asif told the Senate that the violations had been reported to the UN Military Observers Group and the UN had been apprised for the purpose of investigations.

–IANS

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