India on Thursday told Pakistan that its troops were “deliberately” targeting Indian civilian villages and firing at schoolchildren in Jammu and Kashmir which “does not behove of any Army”.

The matter was raised in telephonic talks between Director General of Military Operations Lt.Gen. A.K. Bhatt and his Pakistani counterpart Maj. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said in a statement.

The Indian commander spoke with Maj. Gen. Mirza to protest firing by Pakistani troops at school children earlier this week and “unprovoked and coordinated ceasefire violations onto Indian civilians along the Line of Control”, the spokesperson said.

The Pakistani commander was informed of action by his troops “wherein they had deliberately targeted civilian villages and then fired at schoolchildren while they were being evacuated” from areas close to the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.

“This, he (Mirza) was told, does not behove of any Army.”

Lt.Gen. Bhatt told his counterpart that the Indian Army “as a professional force takes due care to avoid targeting of civilians and the Pakistan Army was expected to do the same”.

“The Indian Army has been taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of life and property of Indian citizens and avoided targeting Pakistani citizens,” Col Anand said, quoting Lt.Gen. Bhatt as telling the Pakistani commander.

Maj. Gen. Mirza was “exhorted to exercise strict control on his troops and instruct them to refrain from any nefarious activities”.

Col. Anand said the Indian DGMO raised the issue of rising ceasefire violations which included “calibre escalation coupled with incidents of sniping and attempted infiltration” from the Pakistani side of the LoC.

The two DGMOs last spoke on Monday when Lt.Gen. Bhatt told the Pakistani commander that the Indian Army reserved the right to retaliate appropriately against any incident of ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army.

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