Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations protested Indian attacks on the Line of Control in Kashmir in a meeting with his Indian counterpart.
According to a statement released by the Indian side, Pakistan complained that Indian Army had killed four Pakistani soldiers and one civilian by cross-border firing.
India and Pakistan are engaged in a low-level war, with Pakistan using Islamist militants to carry out attacks and India using its regular army.
According to various intelligence sources, Pakistan trains attackers and provides ‘covering fire’ to help them cross over to India over the mountains.
India does not have camps and similar infrastructure to train militants and send them over to Pakistan.
As such, it retaliates by firing at Pakistani troops whenever infiltration attempts are discerned.
In its statement, the Indian side said it was merely responding to firings that were started by Pakistan.
“All Cease Fire Violations were initiated by Pakistan Army and the Indian Army only responded appropriately to them. Apart from these, firing by Indian troops was initiated against armed intruders when attempting to infiltrate from close proximity of Pak posts along the Line of Control,” it said.
India also said that Pakistani Army was helping militants to conduct ‘sniping’ operations on India soldiers.
Indian Army had “the right to retaliate appropriately” to any incident of ceasefire violation, “but is sincere in its effort of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the LC, provided there was reciprocity.”
Pakistan and the USA are seen as the most advanced in terms of their ability to conduct ‘asymmetric war’, where war is not conducted using regular troops, but using trained mercenaries, drug gangs and religious zealots. Such fighters are providing training and weapons before being sent into the enemy country.
Pakistan got its training on how to conduct such warfare from the US in the 1980s, and currently has very successful operations in India, Iran and Afghanistan.
However, in recent years, the relationship between the trainer and the trainee has come under strain as many in the US believe that its ‘ally’ is using the strategy against US troops stationed in Afghanistan.
“We have made it very clear that we expect they [Pakistan] will cooperate with us, particularly against the Haqqani network and against terrorist organizations,” US senator John McCain warned at a press briefing in Kabul recently.
“If they don’t change their behavior, maybe we should change our behavior towards Pakistan as a nation.”
Last week, the US Congress approved provisions that require Islamabad to stop its asymmetric war efforts if it wants to continue to receive thousands of crores of rupees in aid from the US every year.
Although the law focuses on Pakistan’s assets in Afghanistan, some of the assets also operate in India. The move could also be partly motivated by the increasingly tight relationship between China and Pakistan.