ISLAMABAD: Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Friday exchanged Twitter fire with India’s Chinar Corps after its Commander Lt Gen K.J.S. Dhillon accused Pakistan of violating ceasefire and facilitating infiltration across the Line of Control (LoC).

Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Ghafoor, while responding to tweets from Chinar Corps handle, said that India was “carving out casus belli” by making such false allegations and any misadventure would be retaliated with full force.

“Usual blatant lies. An attempt to carve out casus belli for a misadventure to divert world attention from precarious situation & atrocities in IOJ&K. While IOJ&K faces media blackout, AJ&K is open to foreign media & UNMOGIP to visit place of their own choosing. Can you do same?” Gen Ghafoor said in first of two tweets.

In another tweet, he said: “Should there be an attempt by Indian Army to undertake any misadventure Pakis­tan’s response shall be even stronger than that of 27 Feb 2019. Thousands of Indian troops have failed to suppress just struggle of brave Kashmiris for decades. Current surge won’t succeed either.”

The exchange started when clips of Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Dhillon’s TV interview with transcription were put out from the Corps’ official Twitter account.

Gen Dhillon, who failingly tried to give an impression of the situation being under control in occupied Kashmir after its autonomous status was scrapped, repeated allegations of ceasefire and infiltration against Pakistan.

Pakistan denounced the action and took a series of measures to downgrade ties and end trade. Troops were, meanwhile, asked to remain vigilant and take all safeguards against possible aggression because India has raised deployment in held Kashmir, ceasefire violations have spiked, and Delhi’s latest move on the valley’s status has heightened the chances of war.

The two countries had in February stepped back from the brink of war during the post-Pulwama standoff which started with Indian Air Force jets violating Pakistani airspace over the LoC and firing missiles targeting an uninhabited location in Balakot.

The following day, the Pakistan Air Force fired at an open space in held Kashmir to convey its intention and readiness to respond. Two IAF jets were shot down and one of the pilots, Abhinandan, was captured in the ensuing dogfight between IAF and PAF jets over Azad Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2019