The Indian Army (IA) in an official statement has confirmed that it has undertaken punitive strikes against Pakistani Army (PA) posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Naushera sector of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). These strikes (chiefly fire assaults) have been directed against hardened Pakistani structures along the LoC that are used to provide fire support and other logistical support to terrorists infiltrating from the Pakistani side. Overall, the strikes represent a move by the IA to retain the ‘upper hand’, as it were, along the LoC, even as a spike in infiltration is expected and terrorists continue to inflict significant casualties on Indian soldiers involved in counter-insurgency operations.
Indeed, the IA of late has been worried about the so-called ‘kill ratio’ being experienced in the course of counter-terrorist operations, which refers to the ratio between the number of terrorists neutralized to the number of Indian troopers lost in operations. It is noteworthy that the IA’s press statement itself notes the operation that took place during 20-21 May in Naugam, J&K which saw 4 terrorists being neutralized for the loss of 3 IA personnel.
As such, India has adopted an ‘offensive-defensive’ doctrine along the LoC which means that calibrated cross-LoC strikes will be par for the course and an integral part of the IA’s strategy to prevent J&K’s hinterland from ‘hotting up’ beyond a point. These strikes also mean that the PA now has to itself worry about actively defending large stretches of the LoC at any time at a tempo it may not be used to. Indian strikes and counterstrikes are likely to also be orchestrated in a manner that ensures that escalation dominance is retained by the IA.
Here’s a video of the latest set of strikes against Pakistani Army structures. Weapons used during these strikes include, Carl Gustav 84 mm rocket launchers, Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), 106 mm recoilless rifles,30 mm AGS-30 automatic grenade launchers and 40 mm multi-barrel grenade launchers. Needless to say, the posts weren’t empty.
Saurav Jha is the Editor-in-Chief of Delhi Defence Review. Follow him on Twitter @SJha1618
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