–Army chief says Pakistan’s quest for peace must not be mistaken as its weakness
RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said that Pakistan’s quest for peace must not be mistakes as its weakness as there would be no compromise on Kashmir.
According to the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief visited the Line of Control (LoC) where he also spoke to the troops deployed on duty.
“Our quest for peace must never be misconstrued as weakness. There will never be a compromise on Kashmir whatever the cost. We are capable and fully prepared to thwart any misadventure/aggression for defence of our motherland,” ISPR quoted the COAS as saying.
Last week, amid heightened tension with India and increased LoC violations, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that Pakistan would give a befitting response to any Indian “false flag operation” aimed at diverting attention from its domestic problems.
PM Imran had said that the Indian government wanted to whip up war hysteria and mobilise nationalist sentiment in India by vilifying Pakistan.
“I have been warning the international community of this for some time and am reiterating again: if India does such an operation to divert attention from its domestic chaos plus whip up war hysteria to mobilize Hindu nationalism, Pakistan will have no option but to give a befitting response,” he had said in a series of tweets.
He had said that over the last five years the Indian government led by Narendra Modi had been using the virulent Hindutva ideology to establish a Hindu Rashtra.
Now with the Citizens Amendment Act, all those Indians who want a pluralist India are beginning to protest and it is becoming a mass movement, the PM had observed.
At the same time, he had said the siege by Indian occupation forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) continued and a bloodbath could be expected when it was lifted.
“As these protests are increasing, a threat to Pakistan from India is also increasing. Indian Army Chief’s statement adds to our concerns of a false flag operation,” the prime minister had remarked.
The prime minister’s remarks ame days after the Indian army had claimed to have thwarted a cross border attack on the LOC by Pakistan.
Indian Army Chief Bhipin Rawat, in a statement to Indian media, had said that the situation on the LOC could escalate at any time and that the people should be prepared to go to war.
“The situation along the LoC can escalate any time. We have to be prepared for the spiraling of the escalatory matrix,” the Indian army chief said.
Earlier, in response to the Indian army chief’s statement, the ISPR DG had tweeted, “Provocative statements and preparations for escalation along LoC by Indian COAS appear to be an effort, as usual, to divert world attention from widespread protests in India against CAB.”
“Pakistan Armed Forces shall befittingly respond to any Indian misadventure or aggression,” he had added.
Pakistan has repeatedly alerted the international community that India will possibly stage a “false-flag operation” to “divert attention from massive human rights violations” in occupied Kashmir.
However, India accuses Pakistan of training and arming insurgent groups that have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. Pakistan says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to these groups.
On August 27, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said Pakistan was trying to infiltrate militants into the country to carry out attacks amid rising tensions over New Delhi’s decision to abrogate the autonomy of IOK. Its spokesman Raveesh Kumar had told reporters that Indian security forces were prepared to deal with any eventuality.
But, Pakistan had binned the reports, saying it was a responsible state and “we would be insane to allow infiltration” across the LoC.