Army chief warns of scaling up operations if Pak keeps backing terror

Pakistan calls India 'sinister', threatens to start nuclear war

Army Monday said that they have killed at least seven Pakistani Rangers in "retaliatory firing" along Line of Control (LoC) in Kotli sector.

The sources also cited an incident on December 25 when a group of five army commandos crossed the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and killed three Pakistani soldiers.

He was responding to questions related to India's security threats emerging from neighbouring nations and the US' recent decision to suspend military aid to Pakistan, New Delhi's de facto nemesis in the region.

The army's action follows the killing of an Indian soldier in Pakistani firing at Rajouri on Saturday.

"Indian forces fired heavy mortar rounds on Pakistani soldiers when they were busy with line communication maintenance along the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Jandrot sector", the statement added. Separately, addressing Army members at an event of the 70th Army Day, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warned Pakistan+ to not compel India to step up its military offensive. "We will keep effectively retaliating to any provocative action by Pakistan", he said.

Gen Rawat, who had in January 2017 for the first time officially acknowledged the existence of India's Cold Start Doctrine, in effect meant to reemphasise that the doctrine remained in place despite Pakistan developing tactical nuclear weapons to pre-empt its execution.

"We are using our might to teach them a lesson. It has to be a politico-military approach that we have to adopt", Rawat added. Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a 73-day standoff in Dokalam that began on June 16 previous year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road by the Chinese People's Liberation Army in the disputed area. "But we believe it's a weapon of deterrence, not a choice", Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor said on state-run television.

The remarks “cannot help to preserve tranquillity and peace at the border areas, ” he said.

Pakistan's foreign minister Khwaja Asif called this statement "irresponsible" and an "invitation for nuclear encounter".

"Disputes are on along the Line of Actual Control, the northern border".

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