Indian army soldiers on alert near the Line of Control in Balakot Sector, Poonch (Source: PTI) 

Pakistan Made 513 Ceasefire Violations After Balakot Strike, Says Indian Army

As many as 513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one-and-a-half months and the Pakistan Army has suffered five to six times more casualties than the Indian Army in retaliatory action, a senior officer said on Saturday.

The Pakistan Army also used heavy weaponry like mortars and artillery guns in over 100 times during these violations and targeted civilian areas but was given a befitting response by the Indian Army, General Officer Commanding of White Knight Corps Lt Gen Paramjit Singh told reporters in Rajouri. "... only yesterday (Friday), four civilians, including two girls, were injured in Poonch."

However, he said the Pakistan Army is being given a befitting response by the Indian Army.

Responding to a question about the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action, he said unlike the Indian Army, Pakistan doesn't announce the number of its casualties.

"However, as per our sources, the Pakistan Army suffered five to six times more casualties than the casualties on our side," Lt. Gen Singh said.

Ten people, including four security personnel, have been killed and nearly 45 others, mostly civilians, injured in the twin districts since India's preemptive air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26 in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

On sniping incidents from across the border, Lt Gen Singh said such incidents had come to a naught over the past several months, especially after the Balakot strike.

"Some incidents of sniping took place earlier and accordingly we have taken some measures to strengthen our defence,” he said. “As per the data this year, only three incidents of sniping by the Pakistan Army were reported from January to February 26 in which one of the fatalities include a civilian porter."

"There was no sniping incident from Feb. 27 till date, which means the steps taken by us have been successful," the officer said.

He said the morale of the troops is very high and as long as they're deployed on the borders, the people of the country needn't worry.

"They have every kind of weaponry and explosives with them and their resolve is rock solid and always prepared for any challenge. As long as they are on the border, you are safe," he said.

Responding to a question, the officer said, "Our message to Pakistan is given everyday whenever some nefarious activity happens on the border."

When asked for a comment on politics being played in the name of soldiers during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, he said the Army doesn't want to get into the debate.