Gen Bhatt says not to open full front, will retaliate only to Pakistan violations


SRINAGAR: As relative calm prevailed on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri, a top Army officer on Monday said the forces are only retaliating to ceasefire violations by Pakistan, and that the Army has no intention to “open an entire front”.
“We don’t intend to open the entire front,” General Officer Commanding (GoC) 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt told reporters on the sidelines of an Army function in Srinagar.
He added that the Army will retaliate “only if Pakistan does any aggressive action, or pushes infiltrators across”.
Asked about the use of artillery in Uri for the first time since 2003, Lt Gen Bhatt said use of weapon is decided by the ground situation. “At one time, heavy-calibre weapons were used. But it (using weapons) is not planned…Which weapons is used at which time depends on that place’s situation, (depends on) weapons used by the enemy”” he said.
He said a large number of militants are waiting to infiltrate into the Valley. “There are groups of 30-40 waiting on launching pads at several places,” he said. “Since there has been little snow this year, we anticipate infiltration will start early this year. We are taking counter-measures”.
Asked about reports of announcements made by Pakistan asking villagers to evacuate, Bhatt said they were not for villagers on the Indian side.
“They advised a few villages there to vacate for safety reasons. My input is that those villages have also not vacated completely,” he said.