ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army says it is prepared to respond to any Indian misadventure and sees a design behind the latest warmongering by Delhi.
“The armed forces of Pakistan are fully prepared for a befitting response to any misadventure from across the border,” Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told Dawn on Friday.
He, however, noted that the armed forces’ state of preparedness was not in “response to rhetorical statements or false claims”, but out of its responsibility as a “professional army” in view of the “perpetual threat” from India.
Last year, Indian forces resorted to 2,933 ceasefire violations in which 58 people lost their lives
Speculation about the possibility of escalation along the Line of Control (LoC) from the Indian side had been doing the rounds after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interview in which he said: “It will be a big mistake to think that Pakistan will mend its ways after one fight [a reference to the claimed 2016 surgical strikes after Uri incident].” He added that it would take time to make Pakistan mend its ways.
The belligerently toned interview — in which Modi talked about the fake surgical strikes of 2016 — was followed by the usual jingoistic media reporting in India in which it was claimed that Pakistan was planning a cross-border raid for which mobilisation had been done.
These developments cannot be ignored especially in view of Modi’s desperation — after recent corruption allegations and losses in polls in three major states ahead of this year’s general elections — to divert public attention and polarise the voters. It is, therefore, believed that the Indian government is deliberately shaping the environment to neutralise the embarrassment suffered by it.
Their warmongering is through media and for domestic reasons, Maj Gen Ghafoor said.
Asked if there was any change in military’s posture along the LoC, the Working Boundary and the international border with India, the spokesman said: “There is always a readiness especially along LAC and LoC. Both sides are already in deployment in these areas. And there isn’t let-up for a befitting response to any of their miscalculated misadventure.”
The situation along the LoC and Working Boundary has aggravated over the years under Modi with a steep increase in ceasefire violations.
Just last year, there were 2,933 truce breaches in which 58 people lost their lives and nearly 300 were injured. Last year’s casualty figure due to ceasefire violations by India was the highest in recent years. The violations were also linked to the strengthening of the uprising in India-held Kashmir, which Indian troops have failed to quell despite the employment of some of the worst human rights abuses.
Pakistan has in the past repeatedly warned India of any strategic miscalculation and said that the ceasefire violations posed a serious threat to regional peace and security.
When asked if channels of communication with the Indian Army were continuing to avoid any miscommunication or misunderstanding, Maj Gen Ghafoor said the “weekly DGMO hotline and on required bases Border Flag Meetings are on routine between both sides”.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019