Pakistan has rejected new Indian army chief Lt. Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane’s irresponsible statement about ‘pre-emptive strikes’, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
— Geo English (@geonews_english) January 2, 2020
In a statement, the spokesperson said Pakistan was fully able to respond to any Indian aggression in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and that New Delhi should not forget Islamabad’s befitting response to its aggression in Balakot last year.
The Foreign Office statement added that Pakistan would continue its efforts for peace and stability in the region despite India’s provocations. The Kashmiri people’s demand for their right of self-determination was justified and in line with the United Nation’s resolutions, it added. India, the spokesperson noted, should permit international observers to visit occupied Kashmir.
A day earlier and shortly after taking charge as India’s new chief of the army staff (COAS), Lt Gen Naravane had said in an interview to the Press Trust of India (PTI) that New Delhi “reserve[d] the right to preemptively strike at sources of terror” and had “multiple options … to respond to any act of terror sponsored or abetted by Pakistan”.
He had said India had “evolved a strategy of resolute punitive response against sponsored terrorism”.
Lt Gen Naravane’s comments were similar to those made by his predecessor, Gen Bipin Rawat, who, on Tuesday, was appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Gen Rawat had maligned Pakistan in October last year.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said last week that the Pakistan Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had assured him that the country’s military “was ready for India” in case of an attack on Azad Kashmir.
I have been warning the int community of this for some time & am reiterating again: if India does such an operation to divert attention from its domestic chaos plus whip up war hysteria to mobilise Hindu nationalism, Pak will have no option but to give a befitting response.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 21, 2019
“I am telling you now, [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi will use this [protests in India] to do something in Azad Kashmir. I informed Gen Bajwa about this and he told me that Pakistan Army is ready for India,” he had said.
Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have warned of the possibility of an Indian false flag operation in recent days.
The Pakistani leadership believes India might engage in a military misadventure to divert attention away from its anti-Muslim policies and its well-recorded atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have very intense relations since the time of the Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of many Indian soldiers. It is worth noting that while pleasing the Hindu extremists at home, PM Modi is often seen using uncalled for comments and ill-thought policies in relation to Pakistan. A few months ago, (26 Feb 2019) Indian planes had crossed the Line of Control and ventured deep inside the Pakistani territory at Balakot (near Abbottabad, in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakthunkhwa) prompting a counter-strike from Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Feb, 27. In the ensuing dogfight, India lost two planes (a Mig-21 and an advanced Russian built SU-30) and subsequently, Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian planes for several weeks. Indian Pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, captured by the Pakistani forces, was released as a goodwill gesture by Pakistan.
IAF claim of hitting F-16 by their Mig 21 before having been shot down by PAF gets exposed. All 4 missile seeker heads recovered intact from the wreckage & held. Pakistan and its professional Armed Forces staying humble by not drum beating. We have more truth on this to share. pic.twitter.com/jOklFU7GDJ
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) April 5, 2019
It is yet to be seen that how does the new Indian army chief cooperate with PM Modi to achieve his political interests.