Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat has again threatened Pakistan that India will take action if “Islamabad continues to back cross-border aggression.”
Gen Rawat said this while talking to reporters on Saturday, according to The Times of India.
The threat from the Indian army chief comes on the same day as Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) observed a Black Day against Indian occupation of the valley.
“If Islamabad continues to back cross-border aggression, then the Indian Army will resort to take ‘other actions’ too,” Rawat said, without specifying on what could be the likely action he was speaking about.
In 2016, India claimed that it had carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on ‘terror launch pads’ across the LoC following an attack on a military base. Categorically rejecting Indian claims, Pakistan had announced to have captured an Indian soldier the same day.
Ties between the two South Asian arch-rivals hit a fresh low after India called off a planned meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session last month.
The Indian army chief also urged Pakistan to cease assisting what he called ‘terrorism’ in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, stating that the Indian state is “strong enough” to guarantee that the occupied valley remains part of India.
When asked about the ‘cross-border infiltration’, he said that Pakistan would be wise to know that by indulging in such activities, harm is coming only to the neighbouring country.
“We are capable of finishing any infiltrators who reach our side. But, if Pakistan continues to support infiltration, we can use other kind of action too,” Gen Rawat said.
The statement comes days after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan wanted good neighbourly ties with India but bilateral relations will naturally remain strained until Kashmir dispute is taken to its logical end.
Addressing a seminar titled “Kashmir is calling/Kashmir Pukaar Raha Hai” held at National Press Club on Thursday, he said the whole nation was united on the Kashmir issue which was also a main component of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He added that Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) is not part of India.
He thanked the Kashmiri leadership for lauding his address at the United Nations General Assembly’s recent session. He said the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir was also an impressive sitting.