News Desk |
An Indian spy drone was shot down by Pakistani forces across the LOC, a statement by the ISPR said. This is the fourth such drone shot down by Pakistani forces within the span of the last year, the statement further added. The drone violated the LoC in Chirikot Sector.
Besides drones, India has allegedly carried about more than 335 ceasefire violations along LOC and the International Border (IB) in 2018 which left 15 civilians dead and 65 injured, according to the Pakistan Foreign Office. In 2017, there were more than 1,300 Indian ceasefire violations, that resulted in 52 deaths and left 175 injured.
“We have consistently stressed that Indian aggression is a threat to regional peace and tranquility,” the Pakistan Foreign Office further added. In February, Pakistan also took the defense attaches of six countries to observe the situation at LoC and get a first-hand account of ceasefire violations by India. Prior to the drone shot down yesterday, Pakistan had shot down an Indian drone in November, 2017 near Head Sulemanki Border and in October of 2017 in Rakhchikri village as well.
The situation in Kashmir has reached alarming levels. Indian forces have been using pellet guns on innocent protestors, as a consequence of which, there is an epidemic of dead eyes in Indian Held Kashmir. An editorial in the New York Times argued that 2016 will be remembered in Indian Occupied Kashmir as the year of dead eyes.
In April last year, the Indian Army tied a Kashmiri man to a jeep and paraded him through the streets in Kashmir to deter protestors from retaliating against heavy handed tactics used by the Indian Army by throwing stones. A human rights watch report extensively chronicled the killing of unarmed Kashmiris by Indian forces. More recently, young girls have become the new face of protestation against human rights abuses by the Indian Army.
Indian Held Kashmir has turned into the biggest army bunker in the world, with over 600,000 thousand troops stationed there. And India seeks to expand its military muscle. India has issued a Letter of Request for six additional AH-64E helicopters from the US. The US is yet to give its letter of acceptance. Currently, the Indian helicopter fleet is made up of mostly Russian platforms such as Mil Mi-17 utility helicopters, Mi- 26 heavy-lift helicopters and Mi-24 attack helicopters.
India is also aiming at acquiring missile armed drones from Israel.
India also seeks to improve its drone technology. Its army has set its sight on purchasing 120 high-tech drones to ‘boost surveillance’. The US army has commenced its process to release armed Avenger (formerly Predator C drone) drone to the Indian Air Force. India is also aiming at acquiring missile armed drones from Israel. It is safe to assume that LoC violations by Indian will persist in the future as well, as India seeks to expand its arsenal of spy drones.
In February 21st, 2018, the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said,“Pakistan thinks it is fighting a war that is paying them dividends but we have several options, including surgical strikes.” Previously, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgi reiterated, “any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure regardless of its scale, mode or location will not go unpunished and shall be met with an equal and proportionate response.”
Read more: The Reality of Surgical Strikes
For its part, India also claims that Pakistan has violated the border between Pakistan and India. Indian police captured a ‘spy’ pigeon near the border. Authorities in India claimed that the pigeon carried a ‘letter threatening the PM’ of India.
The bird was intercepted in Pathankot in Northern state of Punjab. Border Security Forces (BSF) of India were on their routine patrol duty when they spotted the ‘suspicious looking bird’ and decided to act. India has also claimed to have shot down a ‘spy’ balloon from Pakistan, having scrambled a Sukhoi-30 warplane and deploying Mi-17 attack helicopters. The fighter jet’s cannon is said to have fired 97 rounds in bringing down the ‘unidentified balloon shaped object’. The balloon was suspected to be testing Indian’s defense response, top Indian government sources said.
Drone technology has become ubiquitous and virtually all countries with standing armies are said to be testing and developing drones, for surveillance purposes or otherwise. Ceasefire violations by India are not new. What is new, however, is violations via drones. India seems to be testing its drone along the LoC, as it seeks to gain an edge over Pakistan in conventional and sub-conventional war fighting capabilities.