The Indian Army is carrying out “pinpoint strikes” on suspected terror launchpads inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in response to Pakistani military’s unrelenting efforts to push maximum number of terrorists into India before the onset of harsh winters, sources in the security establishment said today.

The ‘deep state’ in Pakistan has tried to manage a fine balance between escaping the scrutiny by global anti-terror watchdog FATF and supporting terror at the same time with an aim to fuel unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, they said. In the last few weeks, Pakistan Army has been aggressively targeting civilians on Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) by resorting to indiscriminate firing by heavy calibre artillery guns to support infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

This year, 21 innocent civilians have lost their lives in Pakistani firing compared to 18 in the whole of 2019, according to official data.

The sources said intelligence-based targeted strikes are being conducted by the Indian Army to neutralise mostly Pakistani and foreign terrorists, and the collateral damage has been very negligible in these operations.

The new pattern being followed by Islamabad in “inciting” unrest and arm the youths in Jammu and Kashmir has been to avoid any trace of its involvement in view of the growing international pressure on it to take action against terror groups operating from its soil, they said.

“Pakistan has sought to target the peaceful villagers living alongside the Indian side of the LoC in order to send a message to the inhabitants of Kashmiri hinterland that to disobey Pakistani directives on terrorism will prove lethal,” said a military source.

Triggering a major flare up, Pakistan resorted to heavy shelling in several areas along the LoC in north Kashmir on Friday killing five security personnel apart from at least four civilians.

The Indian Army mounted a major retaliation pounding several Pakistani positions with anti-tank guided missiles and artillery guns in which at least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed and 12 others injured.

“Pakistan Army’s actions to exclusively target civilians are countered by Indian Army’s pinpoint strikes on suspected launchpads inside Pakistan-OccupiedKashmir,” the source said, adding deaths of terrorists in the area are shown as civilian deaths by Pakistan in order to garner sympathy and aid from foreign donors.

‘Pak forces providing cover fire to terrorists’: India today charged Pakistani forces with continuing to provide supporting cover fire to terrorists to cross the LoC to indulge in terrorism in India.

“Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquility, Pakistani forces continue to engage in providing supporting cover fire to infiltrators. The incessant infiltration of terrorists and induction of weapons to fuel terror activities continue unabated. Such activities are not possible without the support of Pakistani forces deployed along the LoC,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a media briefing here.

He said the Charge d’Affaires of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned by the foreign office on 14 November and a strong protest was lodged over unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces, on multiple sectors along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on 13 November, resulting in the death of four civilians and injuries to 19 others.

He said India lodged a protest with Pakistan over its continued support to cross border terrorist infiltration. Pakistan has once again been reminded of its bilateral commitment to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India.

(With input from PTI)