New Delhi: The BSF on Friday vowed strong retaliatory action against Pakistan, saying it was witnessing a “more aggressive stance” of the opponent along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir after Imran Khan became prime minister.
Outgoing BSF Director General (DG) K K Sharma told reporters that his troops were waiting for the right time to strike back against the enemy in retaliation to the recent killing of their jawan along the IB in the state.
Sharma, who demits office on September 30, also admitted that Head Constable Narender Singh was killed in an “action of the Border Action Team (BAT)” of Pakistan.
The jawan was shot three times on his chest, dragged to the other side of the fence, his feet were tied and throat slit, the DG said.
“There was no mutilation of the body,” he said.
The Border Security Force (BSF) chief said the gun and ammunition of the jawan, who went ahead of the fence in Jammu’s Ramgarh sector along with seven other personnel, was taken away.
“This incident is a first of its kind because generally on the IB you don’t have a BAT action. This was a BAT action…It is an unfortunate incident,” the DG told reporters here.
He added that some counter-action has already been taken along the Line of Control (LoC) and more is in store.
“We have taken sufficient action across the LoC to avenge the death of our soldier. We also reserve our right to retaliate at an appropriate time and place of our choosing,” Sharma said.
“The moment this incident took place we noticed that the other side simply vanished. They were no where in sight.
“They also got their villages vacated thinking we will hit them. So, even if we had retaliated, it would not have been of any use at that time,” he said, adding “we have reserved the right”.
Sharma said the BSF has given a befitting reply and caused more damage on the Pakistan side than ever before. “The BSF has given a very tough and befitting reply and caused much more damage on the other side in the past. We will do the same again.
“In this case, it was very important for us to retrieve the body first and then think of something else. We will see in the near future, we will do something,” he said.
Sharma said it is expected that the BAT’s actions can now also happen along the IB and hence, BSF personnel in forward locations have been asked to remain alert from this point of view.
The DG was subsequently asked if there has been any change in the security situation along the border after Imran Khan took over as the prime minister of Pakistan.
“There has been no change on the border and this incident has taken place after Imran Khan took over as the PM. Such action never took place on the IB.
“We are seeing a more aggressive stance of the opponent on the border than in the past. This incident is an act of aggression,” the DG said at the BSF headquarters here.
He reiterated that “many training camps” and launching pads of terrorists were active along the IB where hundreds of terrorists are present and are wanting to infiltrate into India.
“It is Pakistan’s state policy to help and push terrorists into India. This is part of the Zia-ul-Haq (former Pakistan president) doctrine to make India bleed by thousand cuts,” he said.
The DG said there has been no successful infiltration bid from along the IB this year and whatever has happened has taken place from the LoC which is under the army’s operational control.
He added that the Pakistani side, in anticipation of a ‘surgical strike’ like retaliation from India is still alert and they have got cleared about 5 km of area from the IB on their side.
When asked if the force has seen Chinese troops along with Pak Rangers on this border, the DG replied in the negative, saying he has knowledge of Chinese PLA troops manning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) assets.