Army shoots down India over ‘delusional’ Kashmir annexation claim

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army hit back at India for claiming it was in a position, and ready, to annex the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, calling the comments an “apt manifestation” of the neighbouring nation’s “delusional mindset”.

The statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) came in response to Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, deputy chief of the Indian Army, who earlier this week declared that his men were ready to execute orders like “taking back” independent Kashmir, Economic Times reported.

In issuing the threat to Pakistan, Gen. Dwivedi was responding to an October statement from Rajnath Singh, defence minister of India, in which he had claimed people in Azad Kashmir were subject to rights violations, and that Islamabad would someday have to pay the price, according to Hindustan Times.

But the chief military spokesperson said the “unwarranted statement […] is an apt manifestation of Indian armed forces’ delusional mindset and showcases the vivid imprint of domestic political showboating on Indian military thought.”

“The fallacious remarks and unfounded allegations of so-called ‘launch-pads’ and ‘terrorists’ are an attempt to divert attention from the Indian army’s repressive use of force and gross human rights violations against innocent, unarmed Kashmiris striving for their right of self-determination, upheld by international law and enshrined in UN (United Nations) Security Council resolutions,” the agency said in a series of early morning tweets.

It further said the “lofty claims and surreal ambition is intellectually insulting.” “[The] Pakistan military is a force for good and a proponent of regional peace and stability,” it added.

However, the army warned, Pakistan’s desire for peace “is matched with our capability and preparation to thwart any misadventure or aggression against our territory, an assertion comprehensively validated on numerous occasions, including recently in the Balakot episode.”

On February 27, 2019, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) downed an intruding MiG-21 aircraft and captured its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, after the plane crashed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The next day, Islamabad announced his release in a gesture of goodwill widely hailed by the international community.

The event came days after India claimed its warplanes hit a “militant training camp” in the town of Balakot and killed a large number of “terrorists”.

On Thursday, Pakistan Army further that in the interest of regional peace, New Delhi would do well to abstain from “irresponsible rhetoric and vitriolic communication to shore up electoral support for their political masters’ regressive ideology”.

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