India needs to introspect on Kashmir, has yet not accepted the reality of Partition; unwilling to settle the dispute.
PKONWEB Report (New York/Islamabad) — Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday visited the Line of Control in Kashmir and reviewed state of preparedness amid reports that an Indian plan is at work to scale up tensions at the border weeks before national elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second term in office.
“Pakistan is a peace loving country but we will not be intimidated or coerced. Any aggression or misadventure shall be paid back in same coin”, the army chief said.
The military’s media wing ISPR also held a press conference today in Rawalpindi. Pakistan does not wish to have any physical conflict with anyone, including India, but “if any aggression is imposed, we will defend every inch of our motherland”, said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the ISPR’s Director General.
“We do not wish to go into war and please be reassured if you initiate aggression, the army shall not be surprised by you. We shall surprise you,” warned the DG ISPR.
“I hope you get this message and don’t mess with Pakistan.”
“Our prime minister has given his response to India but the military’s response will be different,” maintained the army spokesperson.
The military spokesperson predominantly spoke about India’s reaction following last week’s suicide blast in Indian-occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama area, in which at least 44 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
He highlighted a pattern of “staged” incidents taking place in India and occupied Kashmir whenever Pakistan is “moving towards stability” and hosting state guests, or attracting investments, and reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s proposal of talks to Delhi.
General Ghafoor rubbished rumors that Pakistan is preparing for war with India. “We are not preparing to initiate anything,” he said. “We have the right to respond to your preparations for war.”
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The DG ISPR warned that the Pakistan Army’s battle-hardened forces would provide a military response that would catch India off guard if and when necessary.
“We have defended our country against terrorism […] We are battle hardened,” he explained.
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“It was difficult fighting an invisible enemy. India is a non-threat,” he said. “We have studied you for 70 years, watched you, prepared our capability for you. Our response will also be for you.”
“We do not wish to go into war, but please rest assured that should you initiate any aggression ─ first, you will never be able to surprise us. Pakistan armed forces will never be surprised by you. But let me assure you, we shall surprise you,” he promised.
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“Because you initiate, we shall also escalate the domination ladder. We shall have a superior force ratio at decisive points. Never think that due to our commitments elsewhere we will have any capacity lacking,” he continued.
“We have singleness of conception ─ from the prime minister, down to a citizen, from the three chiefs down to each soldier, all political parties, and all segments of life. We have a singleness of conception, and the will and the determination, the ways and means to reach our desired end state.
“We can respond to full-spectrum threat,” Maj Gen Ghafoor warned. “I hope you get this message and don’t mess with Pakistan.”
‘India needs to introspect on Kashmir’
The DG ISPR reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to Delhi to investigate the attack, hold talks, and eradicate terrorism from the region.
“The biggest threat to regional peace is the Kashmir issue. Come, let’s talk about it and resolve it […] Your policy of violence in occupied Kashmir has failed. You need to introspect,” he said, addressing the Indian government.
There is a need for introspection in India as to why Kashmiris ─ tired of the cruelty of Indian security forces ─ have begun responding to their violence with “this sort of violence”, Ghafoor said.
The DG ISPR pointed out that India is the “world’s biggest democracy” and urged it to uphold democratic and secular norms and the rights of Kashmiris and Muslims in India who have recently faced increasing harassment and discrimination in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.
He told India that if it wants peace and progress, it shouldn’t send spies such as Jadhav into the country and destroy regional peace.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said he had given “some friends visiting from India a few months ago a message from the army chief” that countries cannot develop alone. “Regions develop. If we also believe that we must develop as a region, we will not go down the path of war.”
“We expect that you will focus responsibly on Pakistan’s offer of peace and won’t become a hurdle in the way of regional peace and stability,” he told Delhi.
The army’s spokesman said that Pakistan in the 21st century was looking towards tackling issues such as education, health, and upholding the right of its citizens and future generations to live in peace ─ “not a war that you are trying to set the stage for”, he admonished India.
“Don’t snatch this right away from your future generations with your foolishness. Your attitude is not in line with humanity.”