Defense expert rubbishes government reaction to LOC killings

New Delhi, Aug. 7 (ANI): Defence expert Major General (Retired) G.D. Bakshi criticised the Central Government on Wednesday for being unjustifiably defensive in their approach to border issues with Pakistan, following the ambush and killing of five Indian Army soldiers by Pakistani troops in Poonch District of Jammu and Kashmir.

While Pakistan has denied the involvement of its troops in the incident, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said that the intruders who killed the five Indian soldiers were "terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform."

Antony's statement has attracted a lot of flak, as it has contradicted the Indian Army's account, which said that the perpetrators were "soldiers from the Pakistan Army."

"The statement by the Defence Minister was unduly defensive. The Army had said that this was carried out by a Border action team of Pakistan, which comprised of Pakistani terrorists as well as soldiers from the Pakistani army. I haven't understood how it was communicated by the Defence Minister as 'some persons who were dressed in army uniform.' This sends out a strange message. Wearing Pakistani uniforms on the Pakistan border, who else could it be apart from Pakistani soldiers? We have needlessly given them an escape route and escape cause," Major General (Retired) Bakshi said.

Major General (Retired) Bakshi said that he could not understand why the Government of India were hell bent on continuing peace talks with Pakistan.

Bakshi said: "For the sake of peace talks, we cannot go on sacrificing our national interest. ... Additionally, do these five lives martyred have no worth? What motivation is it for the soldiers if they are placed at the border like deaf and dumb dolls who don't retaliate to such incidents?"

Further, Bakshi said that the Pakistan Army and the ISI were not under the control of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had earlier publicly expressed his desire to mend the relationship between India and Pakistan.

"The fact is that Pakistan's establishment, their Army, and the ISI are fully involved in this incident. They are absolutely not listening to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; they are not in his control. Under these circumstances, I don't see the sense in continuing peace talks with Pakistan," Major General (Retired) Bakshi added.

Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha forwarded a breach of privilege notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar against Antony for misleading the House and altering the statement of the Indian Army.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also urged parties to rise above politics in their discussions regarding the Poonch District killings.

On Tuesday morning, Pakistani soldiers had intruded into Indian territory and ambushed five Indian soldiers who were patrolling an area along the Line of Control ( LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District. (ANI)

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