India’s aggressive posturing and persistent enthusiasm to go to war with Pakistan is a grave threat for regional peace and stability with news reports of the Indian Army Chief threatening to launch an attack to occupy Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).
In a provocative statement that is reflective of Pakistan’s apprehensions that New Delhi seeks a military-level escalation, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat boasted that the Indian Army is ready to occupy Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and simply awaits a signal from the Narendra Modi-led government.
Threats to Attack Azad Kashmir
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, on Thursday, said that the Indian Army troops are ready to take back Azad Jammu & Kashmir and make it a part of India. The Indian Army Chief also said that the troops are ready to take action on the slightest cue of the Narendra Modi-led government, however, it is for the government to decide upon such matters.
The Army Chief has stressed that the Pakistani armed forces and nation are willing to go to every extent for the people of Kashmir.
Speaking to the Indian news agency, ANI, General Bipin Rawat said that the “next agenda of India is to retrieve PoK (Azad Kashmir) from Pakistan”, and the troops are awaiting the decision of the government.
India Today cited his remarks, “The next agenda is retrieving PoK (Azad Kashmir) and making it a part of India. The government takes action in such matters. The institutions of the country will work as per the orders of the government. The Army is always ready.”
#WATCH Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat on Union Minister Jitendra Singh's statement, “Next agenda is retrieving PoK & making it a part of India”: Govt takes action in such matters. Institutions of the country will work as per the orders of the govt. Army is always ready. pic.twitter.com/RUS0eHhBXB
— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2019
Earlier, Indian Union Minister Jitendra Singh had enunciated similar threats, claiming that the next agenda of the Modi-led government is to “retrieve” areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and make it a part of Indian Territory.
Addressing reporters in Jammu, Jitendra Singh had said, “Now, the next agenda is retrieving PoK and making it a part of India. It’s not only me or my party’s commitment, but it’s a part of a resolution unanimously passed by Parliament in 1994 during Congress government headed by PV Narasimha Rao.”
This is not the first instance that the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat has issued threats to attack Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute. In October 2018, months prior to the Pulwama attack, General Bipin Rawat had threatened to launch “other actions” to counter Islamabad’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism.
However, reports emanating from India and intelligence sources reveal that the Indian army chief is evidently perplexed by Pakistan’s staunch opposition to New Delhi’s illegal annexation of the disputed Himalayan territory.
Reports reveal that General Bipin Rawat has expressed his inhibitions and fear over Pakistan’s information warfare strategy. Reports suggest that while addressing a meeting with former military officers in New Delhi, Gen Rawat had accepted India’s defeat at the hands of Pakistan’s hybrid warfare strategy.
Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 16, 2019
Media reports reveal that the Indian Army Chief had also exposed incidents of “operational information leaks”, warning former military officials to remain vigilant while using social media platforms.
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had reiterated Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiri struggle for freedom on the occasion of Defence & Martyrs Day on 6th September.
Gen Bajwa said, “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan, and we will never abandon our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.” The Army Chief has stressed that the Pakistani armed forces and nation are willing to go to every extent for the people of Kashmir.
Pakistan Rejects Terrorism Accusations
Pakistan, on Thursday, rejected the accusations leveled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, blaming the country for nurturing and fostering the ideology of terrorism. Modi had said that terrorism has emerged as “a global threat and this ideology is deeply rooted and flourishing in Pakistan.”
Commenting on Prime Minister Modi’s remarks on terrorism, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, official spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that these statements were “reflective of the Indian Government’s quintessential animus towards Pakistan and the smear campaign that India has waged for decades.”
A press release issued by MoFA stated in this regard, “The Spokesperson added that no amount of India’s anti-Pakistan rhetoric could hide its state-terrorism in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Nor could any such remarks divert the international community’s attention from India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August, 2019 which, among other things, have turned IOJ&K into the largest prison of the world.”
The statement continued, “The unconscionable lockdown has entered its 40th day (as it began on 4th August, 2019).”
“Rather than resorting to its familiar canard against Pakistan, India should pay heed to the international censure and reverse its draconian measures which are resulting in unspeakable sufferings for the Kashmiri people.”