A day after news channels in India aired video clips purportedly of the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control in 2016, Pakistan said that New Delhi’s claim that it had carried out such strikes was farcical.

“I have said it before and will say it again,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal told reporters on Thursday. “The farcical claims of surgical strikes is a figment of Indian imagination and nothing else! They may dream on.”

News channels claimed the video clips were accessed from official sources and taken by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Thermal Imaging cameras used by the Army to monitor the operation. “The videos are real,” retired Lieutenant General DS Hooda told The Indian Express. Hooda was the former Northern Army Commander who was in charge of the surgical strikes.

Surgical strikes

On September 29, 2016, Indian Army’s then Director General of Military Operations Ranbir Singh said that the Army had carried out “surgical strikes on terror launchpads” across the Line of Control the previous night. Singh had said that the action was taken after receiving information about infiltrators planning to cross the LoC.

Pakistan, however, said that India was deliberately and erroneously using the term surgical strikes to describe existing “cross-border fire” operations in an effort to “create false effects” and “media hype”.

A surgical strike is a military attack aimed to harm only the target and ensure minimal collateral damage to general public infrastructure and utilities around the intended target.