Indian Punjab villages close to border being evacuated amid rising tension


The Indian villages in Punjab region which are 10 km from the international border with Pakistan are being evacuated while additional Border Security Force (BSF) troops have moved in closer in indications that a war with Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack would most likely take place.

The evacuation of the villages in Punjab, reported by an Indian news agency, comes barely hours after the Indian Army announced it has conducted surgical strikes inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

BSF has cancelled the beating retreat ceremony at Wagah border for today.

The surgical strikes have raised the possibility of a military escalation between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

Read more: India claims carrying out ‘surgical strikes’ along LoC in Kashmir

-Pakistan reacts sharply-

The Army’s surgical operation inside AJK has triggered a sharp warning from Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who warned that Pakistan’s “intent for peaceful neighbourhood should not be mistaken as our weakness”.

Pakistan, however, has denied any surgical strike by India, but its Army has admitted to the death of two soldiers in cross-LoC firing by Indian troops earlier today.

Read more: Pak Army denies India’s claim of ‘surgical strikes’ at LoC: ISPR

China, another of the permanent members of the UN Security Council and a traditional ally of Pakistan, has urged dialogue between the two antagonists.

On Wednesday, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan backed India in boycotting Pakistan, which is supposed to host this year’s edition of the SAARC summit in Islamabad in November. SAARC chair Nepal has indicated that the South Asian group summit may be called off.

Read more: Army Chief contacts PM Nawaz after Indian firing on LoC