Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the possibility of India launching a “limited war,” India has revived its decades-old combat division comprising tanks and armored vehicles near the historically significant Akhnoor sector in Indian-administered Kashmir, a report by Russian news agency Sputnik datelined New Delhi says.
It said the division is mandated to counter any action of Pakistani troops in the Chamb-Jaurian sector – the area where the 1971 war between the two countries broke out.
The 10th Infantry Division of the Indian Army, which is now being converted into RAPID (Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division), will hold around 100 T-72 tanks and the same number of Russian made mechanized armored vehicles.
The RAPID formation has infantry assets to reasonably conduct significant offensive operations and is easily adaptable to nuclear, biological & chemical warfare.
Meanwhile, Indian troops began on Wednesday heavy shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) without any provocation, leaving one civilian dead and six others, five of them women, wounded, Pakistani officials said.
Reacting to the incident, the Foreign Office summoned the acting Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to lodge a strong protest over the ceasefire violations.
The heavily-militarized LoC and Working Boundary are regularly witnessing ceasefire violations by Indian troops that mostly culminate in civilian casualties.
According to a Foreign Office handout, Indian forces have committed more than 873 ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary this year, resulting in the deaths of 40 innocent civilians and injuries to 148 others, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations last year.
The Nation report that Islamabad has contacted Washington, Beijing, Moscow, and London to raise the issue of unprovoked firing at the border by India. “We have urged them to ask India to give up defiance. India is threatening a limited war which could be dangerous for the regional peace,” said an official.
Last week, flaunting the country’s short-range nuclear tactical weapons, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Islamabad can use nuclear weapons to thwart any Indian attempt to enter Pakistani territory. “We have developed short-range nuclear weapons as a counter to the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine that India has developed,” Abbassi said. The Cold Start doctrine is considered as a retaliatory offensive arrangement along the western border, through which Indian armed forces can hit specific targets for a limited duration.
India’s Cold Start doctrine had been on the backburner for many years; however, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat opened the discussion on reviving the doctrine soon after taking charge as chief of the Indian Army in the beginning of 2017.