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ISLAMABAD: The army on Tuesday warned India against “misadventure” and sought “actionable evidence” regarding its allegations that Pakistani soldiers beheaded and mutilated corpses of two Indian soldiers.

This was conveyed by Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza in a hotline conversation with his Indian counterpart Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt after an incident on Monday in Buttal sector (Indian Krishna Ghatti sector) along the Line of Control in which India alleges that a patrol operating between two posts was attacked by a ‘Border Action Team’ of the Pakistan Army and two of its soldiers were “killed and beheaded”.

Pakistan, India DGMOs hold hotline conversation after contact between local commanders

“DGMO Pakistan Army asked for actionable evidence and urged that Indian Army should look inwards to probe the incident,” the ISPR said in a statement after the hotline conversation.

The contact followed a hotline communication between local commanders in the Rawalakot-Poonch sector the previous night.

Maj Gen Mirza categorically dismissed Indian allegations as “bas­eless and unfounded”. He told his counterpart that the Pakistan Army, being “a professional military outfit” that “upholds the highest standards of conduct”, would never mutilate an enemy soldier.

“Allegations of mutilation are an Indian attempt to divert the attention of world from situation within the valley,” the ISPR statement said, pointing to the aggravating security situation in held Kashmir and the growing human rights abuses by Indian forces.

The Pakistani DGMO also denied occurrence of any ceasefire violation by his troops or his soldiers crossing the LoC to carry out an ambush.

Notwithstanding Pakistani assurances about maintaining peace and tranquillity along the LoC, a statement by the Indian Army had a day earlier said that “despicable act” would be “appropriately responded”.

Maj Gen Mirza reiterated Pakistan’s “full commitment” to peace along the LoC, but at the same time warned against “any misadventure”. “Any misadventure shall be appropriately responded at a place and time of own choosing,” the ISPR said.

India was on Monday night also told in local commanders’ contact that it expected prudence would be exercised and no steps taken that could further vitiate the environment.

The situation along the LoC has been worsening with every passing year and the numbers of ceasefire violations have steadily risen. There were 248 violations by India of the 2003 ceasefire accord in 2014, which went up to 382 last year and in the first four months of the current year there have already been around 250 breaches.

Maj Gen Mirza, while flagging the issue of violations by India, particularly the targeting of civilian population along the LoC, warned: “Continuity of such action would invite appropriate response.”

Four civilians have so far been killed in various incidents of ceasefire violations by India this year.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2017