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Thread: India Says Five Soldiers Killed in Attack on Pakistan Border

  1. #226
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    The Indian Defense Ministry's response to Praveen Swami's original piece and Swami's response to their criticism was published in The Hindu and is below:
    In a ‘Media Clarification’ issued on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Defence, Srinagar, says:

    1. Please refer to the news article “Runway grandmother sparked savage skirmish on LoC” by Praveen Swami, published in The Hindu on January 10, 2013. Certain aspects mentioned in the article are factually incorrect.

    2. First, as per the article, 70-year-old Reshma Bi had crossed the Line of Control on 26 September, 2011. Therefore, the recent cease fire violations cannot be linked to an incident 16 months old.

    3. As mentioned in the article, no announcements were made by the Pakistan Army over a public address system at Uri demanding a halt to any construction work.

    4. GOC 19 Inf Div. Maj Gen G.S. Rawat is not the General Officer Commanding of 19 Inf Div, Maj Gen Khandare is the GOC, 19 Inf Div now.

    5. Also it is denied that any permission was ever sought by the GOC for aggressive action against any Pakistani post. No LC transgression has been resorted to by the Indian army in Uri Sector on 06 Jan 13, as alleged.

    6. Pakistan has carried out cease fire violations on night 05/06 Jan and controlled retaliation was carried out by own side on January 6, 2013.

    Praveen Swami replies:

    I indeed erred in designating Brigadier G.S. Rawat as the head of the 19 Infantry Division; he was in fact the Brigade Commander of the 161 Brigade in Uri, which is part of the 19 Infantry Division. The error is regretted.

    However, the rest of the Defence Ministry clarification makes little sense. It states that “as per the article, 70-year-old Reshma Bi had crossed the Line of Control on 26 September, 2011.” There is no such claim in the article. It in fact states that she crossed the Line of Control on September 11, 2012. That means there were barely six weeks between her departure and the firing, not sixteen months.

    Secondly, the Defence Ministry disputes that the Pakistan Army made announcements over its public address system asking India to cease the bunker construction that followed. However, it does not dispute that it began constructing bunkers — the bone of contention which led to the clash.

    Finally, it states that The Hindu charged it with staging a cross-border raid on January 6, 2013. The Hindu story made no such claim: it merely states that Pakistan alleges that Indian troops staged such a raid, along with India’s denial of this allegation.

    Thus, the Defence Ministry denial concedes all key elements of The Hindu’s article — i.e., that India constructed bunkers around Charonda, which provoked a Pakistani response, leading to a clash in which Pakistani soldiers were killed, and Indian soldiers were killed in retaliation.

    Interestingly, the Defence Ministry does not deny other elements of the story, such as the suggestion that both sides have engaged in cross border raids, which have on occasion included beheadings.
    LoC firing: Defence Ministry

    I am not aware of any further communication between the Indian government and Praveen Swami/The Hindu on this issue.
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  2. #227
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    The conclusion of Wajahat S Khan's piece on the events around the death of 5 Indian soldiers in Kashmir that led to the latest series of clashes. WSK does quote 'anonymous Pakistani intelligence sources' so let me state outright that I am not suggesting those claims be taken to be true without any further validation. The alleged Pakistani intelligence assessment into the events surrounding the death of the 5 Indian soldiers offers an alternate narrative to the one pushed by the Indian side:

    Once upon a time in the valley of death

    Part - II Zero protocol
    Wajahat S Khan
    Friday, September 20, 2013


    At 0930 hours last August 6, the Directorate of Military Operations of the Pakistan Army and its counterpart in India conducted a scheduled hotline call. The conversation between the two MO directorates – ostensibly, the pivotal ‘ops’ nerve centres for both armies – lasted a few minutes as the rival officers discussed routine matters and clicked off.

    At 0949 hours, Omar Abdullah, the young, tech savvy chief minister of Indian-held Jammu & Kashmir would tweet: “Was briefed early this morning about news that 5 of our soldiers had been killed on the LoC. My heartfelt condolences to their next of kin.”

    There was a good question to ask that fateful day: Why didn’t India’s MO Directorate raise the issue of the incident with its counterpart that morning – which the CM of IHJ&K would tweet about a few minutes later – especially as they were already connected officially through their hotline?

    A Pakistani intelligence summary would point out the discrepancy: “[The] Indian side did not highlight the incident whereas as per practice this should have been the most important issue in the hotline call”. A Pakistani security source would add: “If the CM knows, and their MO doesn’t raise it, it means the MO either doesn’t know, which we can’t really believe because it is an Indian Army matter, or that they thought it was something else and not worth taking up with our MO.”


    Back to August 6. After the news, and hell, broke loose on Indian media, and details began to emerge (five soldiers belonging to 21 Bihar Regiment and 14 Maratha Light Infantry had been ‘ambushed’ and killed and a sixth one injured around 0100 hours while on patrol in Chakan Da Bagh/Poonch sector), the Indian MO’s office would eventually put in a request for another hotline call that evening – “almost nineteen hours after the alleged incident”, the source would add.

    That discrepancy would put Pakistani intelligence into overdrive. The Indian Army’s behaviour was unusual. ‘Special’ requests from India’s MO had been submitted before, but they usually preceded mainstream and social media reports. Also, what were six soldiers (one had “managed to hide himself” according to The Hindu) of an ‘Area Domination Team’ from two different units doing out of typical formation? Infantry patrols usually move around in a group of ten or eleven (structured and known as a ‘section’ in both armies) at the very least.

    Also, if the troops were in the vulnerable ‘unit transition’ phase, where the outgoing unit is tasked to familiarise the incoming unit with its area of responsibility, even small deployments of soldiers wouldn’t go on patrol at night for that purpose. Interestingly, the same questions were being asked on the margins of the mainstream Indian media.

    The next day, at 0930 hours, the especially requested MO hotline call came and the Indians protested. Pakistan’s MO denied any involvement and ISPR issued a press release. But the investigation underway by Pakistani intelligence would lead Rawalpindi in a different direction.

    “There were inconsistencies. And then we figured out that incident was initially reported as an IS [internal security] issue,” a military source would say. An intelligence brief would detail: “Five soldiers did die on 6/8/2013, but not in the manner hyped by the Indians. They were probably shot by locals, at point blank range.”

    The brief would further postulate: “FIRs are not usually lodged after fire engagements. But there was an FIR lodged in Punch [sic] Police Station (No 113) on 6/8/2013 about the incident, citing the killings. Post-mortem reports also indicate that Indian Army soldiers were shot point blank…while never discharging any rounds from their weapons.” I did see a copy of the Indian FIR, obtained from intelligence officials, but was not able to independently verify the findings of the autopsy reports.

    “This is what we think happened,” the intelligence source would conclude. “There were six of them, out of formation. That explains why they went out at night, maybe after a local village girl, as they have in the past. The locals caught them and shot them at point blank range…most possibly they were angry. Remember, no rounds were fired from officially issued weapons, and there were also reports on their media that their weapons were stolen, which is a good alibi. The sixth guy escaped and probably shot himself in the foot. He’s still with the army. They haven’t exposed him to anyone for interviews.”


    Regardless of Pakistani intel’s analyses, the days after the incident saw varying descriptions of what happened being floated by different branches of the Indian government: Starting from the furore-creating suo motu statement by Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on August 6, ‘terrorists’, ‘terrorists dressed as regular Pakistani troops’, ‘regulars’, ‘specialist troops’, ‘SSG’s Musa company’, even a ‘combined force’ of Pakistani Special Forces and jihadists (‘Border Action Teams’ according to Indian officials) would be blamed, in slow-motion and over days of briefings and leaks, for the killings.

    It would be a messy, agonising war of versions about Pakistan – but between different branches of the Indian government – and would keep India’s noisy media busy and South Asia watchers worried, while providing the Indian opposition with enough batter to fry a government. By the way, the initial FIR about the incident only cited “terrorists”, and not what eventually emerged from New Delhi’s MoD and/or South Block. Eventually, after initial hiccups, all major Indian actors and agencies would get their anti-Pakistan groove back. But why the initial inconsistency about what is, sadly, a routine matter on the LoC?

    “The opposite of what the Indian narrative insists about Pakistan is actually happening here,” Sartaj Aziz, advisor for national security and foreign affairs would tell me in a recent television interview. “We are in a transition, but different sides are thinking alike. There is a maturity here regarding India.”

    What Aziz wouldn’t say on television is what is being talked about town: that there is an increasing understanding between Rawalpindi and Islamabad that New Delhi is trying to drive a wedge between Pakistan’s new government and it’s old guard.

    Critically, as Pakistan’s establishment and elected leaders make extra efforts to shed their ‘bad boy’ image while anticipating 2014 – hosting Hamid Karzai, releasing Taliban prisoners, trying to convince Mullah Umar & Co to talk to the Afghan High Peace Council – both GHQ and the Foreign Office feel that the Indian approach, driven by an aggressive military-media combine (even GoCs are giving press statements in IHJ&K now), is meant to both undermine Pakistan’s international role as a credible peace broker in the Afghan reconciliation process as well as focus international attention on the ‘P-word’: Proxy War. In this worldview, it is feared that the notion that Pakistan will start routing militants away from Afghanistan and into Kashmir – an argument often made in the 1990s and 2000s by New Delhi – is going to be reintroduced as the new, post-2014 narrative in South Asia.


    Internally, there is another perceived Indian angle: politics. After Antony’s initially measured statements were denigrated as a boo-boo by a fiery opposition in what is looking like the beginning of the Indian election campaign season, Islamabad assesses that Congress will take the detour – troubled economy, rape scandals, communal riots, bad press et al – to look tough on Pakistan. “Unsurprisingly, Pak-bashing is a safe electoral strategy. But is it good statesmanship?” asked a Foreign Office source.

    But there is hope yet for a breakthrough. Pakistan’s Foreign Office is preparing vigorously for a crucial huddle, when Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh will soon bump into each on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The Foreign Office thinks that particular peace ball is in India’s court for now. “I know Manmohan Singh. Our relationship goes back, way back”, Sartaj Aziz optimistically surmised. “I know he would never miss an opportunity to meet with our Prime Minister. He’s too good a statesman to not give peace a chance.”

    Yet, there are still question marks about GHQ and Raiwind’s one-pagedness in other areas: is the APC-driven peace process in play, after Maj-Gen Sanaullah Niazi’s death, and how will it affect military dynamics with India? Who will be the new army chief? And when will the PM’s big ‘let’s trade’ MFN narrative translate into actual trade gains for India and Pakistan? A security official confirmed that “no hardcore consultations” are ongoing in those regards.

    Concluded

    The writer is a Harvard Kennedy School Fellow and multimedia journalist. Email: wajskhan@gmail.com
    Once upon a time in the valley of death - Wajahat S Khan
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

  3. #228
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    “This is what we think happened,” the intelligence source would conclude. “There were six of them, out of formation. That explains why they went out at night, maybe after a local village girl, as they have in the past. The locals caught them and shot them at point blank range…most possibly they were angry. Remember, no rounds were fired from officially issued weapons, and there were also reports on their media that their weapons were stolen, which is a good alibi. The sixth guy escaped and probably shot himself in the foot. He’s still with the army. They haven’t exposed him to anyone for interviews.”
    Ohhh.... Wajahat...


    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim
    WSK does quote 'anonymous Pakistani intelligence sources' so let me state outright that I am not suggesting those claims be taken to be true without any further validation.
    lol... Good one.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

  4. #229
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    The conclusion of Wajahat S Khan's piece on the events around the death of 5 Indian soldiers in Kashmir that led to the latest series of clashes. WSK does quote 'anonymous Pakistani intelligence sources' so let me state outright that I am not suggesting those claims be taken to be true without any further validation. The alleged Pakistani intelligence assessment into the events surrounding the death of the 5 Indian soldiers offers an alternate narrative to the one pushed by the Indian side:
    And yet you choose to highlight the juicy bits. This is probably the first time I am seeing such an open admission of dis-ingenuity. What is the objective, just throwing mud and seeing if it sticks?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  5. #230
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    And yet you choose to highlight the juicy bits.
    The highlighted parts of the article are the 'alternate narrative', as pointed out in my 'disclaimer' preceding the article, or did you and Tronic choose to deliberately ignore that?
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  6. #231
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    The highlighted parts of the article are the 'alternate narrative', as pointed out in my 'disclaimer' preceding the article, or did you and Tronic choose to deliberately ignore that?
    I only gave you a pat on the back...
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

  7. #232
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    The highlighted parts of the article are the 'alternate narrative', as pointed out in my 'disclaimer' preceding the article, or did you and Tronic choose to deliberately ignore that?
    I am sure it was scrupulous of you to point out the disclaimer, though I am sure you knew it would be caught out anyway. However, you still chose to point out the specific juicy bits. This is not an "alternate narrative", its plain old mud slinging with the disclaimer : "Hey I am going to throw you some mud."
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  8. #233
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    I am sure it was scrupulous of you to point out the disclaimer, though I am sure you knew it would be caught out anyway. However, you still chose to point out the specific juicy bits. This is not an "alternate narrative", its plain old mud slinging with the disclaimer : "Hey I am going to throw you some mud."
    You can consider it 'mud slinging' just as much as I consider the anti-Pakistan claims made by Lemontree and others on this forum to be 'mud slinging' ... the fact of the matter is that Wajahat S Khan penned an article quoting the views of Pakistani government and intelligence officials about the events surrounding the deaths of the 5 Indian soldiers. I made clear that I those views should not be taken to be 'true' without additional verification.
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
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  9. #234
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    You can consider it 'mud slinging' just as much as I consider the anti-Pakistan claims made by Lemontree and others on this forum to be 'mud slinging' ... the fact of the matter is that Wajahat S Khan penned an article quoting the views of Pakistani government and intelligence officials about the events surrounding the deaths of the 5 Indian soldiers. I made clear that I those views should not be taken to be 'true' without additional verification.
    Lemontree's account is not mud slinging. He is not maligning the character of the PA with unsubstantiated info, he is just stating the results of a fight. Military victory or defeat has nothing to do with character.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  10. #235
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Lemontree's account is not mud slinging. He is not maligning the character of the PA with unsubstantiated info, he is just stating the results of a fight. Military victory or defeat has nothing to do with character.
    Suggesting that the Pakistani soldiers were 'cowed down' in exchanges of fire with the IA would be an attack on the 'character of the PA', and it would be an attack based on 'unsubstantiated info' since the Pakistani Army Officers I have contacted do not support LT's version of events.
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  11. #236
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Suggesting that the Pakistani soldiers were 'cowed down' in exchanges of fire with the IA would be an attack on the 'character of the PA', and it would be an attack based on 'unsubstantiated info' since the Pakistani Army Officers I have contacted do not support LT's version of events.
    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by notorious_eagle View Post
    The orders were issued out after the skirmishes started. Gen Faheem had issued strict orders to only use light weapons(guns and mortars) and fire when fired upon. As Captain LT has posted, IA was using L-70AA and ATGMS while the PA side was only restricted to light arms.
    As per your and NE's statements, the PA army took the (political) decision to use light weaponry while the IA used heavier weaponry. A light infantry force taking cover from heavier weapons is not cowardly, they are being operationally prudent. Thumping your chest and posturing would be stupid, and anyone claiming that would, I concede, be making an attack on the 'character of the PA'.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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