Rift between Indian Army and BSF on LoC

Sajjad Shaukat

Since the false flag terror attacks at a military base in Uri, situated in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. After deployment of heavy arms and weapons on the Line of Control (LoC), Indian forces have increased troops and continued shelling in Pakistani side of Kashmir. And Pakistani troops are giving a matching response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC.

Meanwhile, the then Indian Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag had claimed that Indian Army conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan’s side of Kashmir.  

But, the myth of Indian surgical strikes was exposed, when in a statement, DG of Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt. Gen, Asim Saleem Bajwa have said, “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India to create false effects. This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross border fire as surgical strike is a fabrication of truth.” He repeatedly stated that Pakistani troops have been giving equal response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC.

Differences also arose between Indian civil and military leadership—as to how cover the falsehood. In this regard, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and country’s Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh had decided to prepare a ‘fake video’ of surgical strikes so as to pacify the Indian public, media and the opposition parties.

Online sources suggest that opposition parties in the Indian Congress also demanded to show proof of the surgical strikes, while in the Indian public and politicians demanded the resignation of Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag. In these circumstances, Gen. Dalbir Singh had retired as the Army chief and Gen. Bipin Rawat took over the charge as army chief.

Indian media reported that the “appointment of the new Army chief had ignited a political debate with the Janata Dal United (A political party of India), calling it the 1983 emergency-like situation. While, the government had linked the appointment with security reasons in context with Pakistan, China, and terrorism, the Congress party has described the appointment as whimsical cherry picking.”

It is notable that Indian Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on May 4, this year hinted at retaliatory action against Pakistan, while India blamed the latter for the killing and mutilation of Indian army soldiers across the LoC, despite, Pakistan repeatedly rejected New Delhi’s false allegations.

In this respect, Gen Rawat, while referring to the earlier incident said, “The Indian army has beefed up its counter-infiltration postures near the LoC…Terrorists are trying to infiltrate. Like each year, infiltration will commence. We are taking measures. We have beefed up our counter-infiltration postures.”

However, in response to the Indian threat, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims by his Indian counterpart about the “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible recurrence. According to ISPR, Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

In the recent past, during his visit at the LoC, Gen. Bajwa stated that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country against any aggression.

In fact, New Delhi’s main aim behind the war-mongering diplomacy is to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with Pakistan in wake of differences between Indian security forces which have been deployed at the LoC.

While, differences existed between Indian security forces, a renowned newspaper of Pakistan and some online sources disclosed that a serious rift has been reported from the Line of Control region between Indian Army officials and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel.

These sources elaborated that the reason behind this rift is the hegemonic and arrogant posturing of Indian Army officials who usually take credit of operational achievements even in those operations which are conducted jointly by Indian Army and BSF and in which BSF personnel’s contribution is much higher than the troops from the regular armed forces.

On June 10, 2017, BSF units deployed under Army Operations Control on LoC raised concern that Army takes credit of each and every operational achievement whereas BSF participation in operations goes unnoticed. BSF authorities are much concerned over this situation, considering it a main reason of low morale of BSF troops, deployed on LoC which is a matter of serious concern for a force operating in the forefront. 

Consequently, BSF units deployed on LoC were instructed that no commitment would be made to Army without approval of higher authorities or the BSF HQs. In case, any proposal is received from Army, it is required to be forwarded with detailed analysis along with merits/demerits and remarks of commandants and Sector DIGs. On June 21, 2017, BSF HQ asked junior commands to provide information regarding joint operations with Army conducted since January 2016 till date. It also instructed them that the information may be appended with details of joint operations, ammunition fired by Indian troops, achievements, casualties/injuries and recognition by Army and BSF authorities.

These directions have been passed since the BSF high command feels depressed over the neglect of BSF contributions though BSF personnel are shouldering equal responsibility with other army units on LoC.

It is pointed out that Indian Army is a military component of the country. While BSF is a para- military component and although its authority is higher than civilian police, but lower to Army. Controlling authority of Indian Army is Ministry of Defence, while BSF is under the control of Ministry of Home Affairs.  And salary and pension in Army are higher than BSF.

Nevertheless, rift between Indian Army and BSF on LoC has been created in wake of differences between which already exists between Indian security forces and continued violations of the LoC.