ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army on Friday snapped back hard at Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, accusing him of converting Indian army into a “rogue force” and wasting lives of his men because of his reckless command and for attainment of personal ambitions.

The strong reaction came in a couple of late-night tweets by military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.

“Indian COAS repeatedly provoking war through irresponsible statements endangering regional peace for electioneering of political masters. From fake surgical strike to date his only success has been to turn Indian Army into a rogue force and getting them killed,” Gen Ghafoor said in the first tweet.

The spokesman in his second Twitter posting linked Gen Rawat’s statements, intensified atrocities against Kashmiris, deaths of Indian troops in ceasefire breaches, helicopter crashes due to “the so called technical fault cum fratricide” to his desire to become India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. Gen Rawat, the Pakistan Army spokesman asserted, was doing all this at the cost of professional military ethos.

Military spokesman says Indian general is provoking war through irresponsible statements

The tweets came in response to Gen Rawat’s latest comments at a lecture in which he alleged that Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan were controlled by “terrorists”.

The Indian army chief’s statement came days after Pakistan exposed his claims of having neutralised three “terror launch pads” in Azad Kashmir in heavy artillery strikes in the wee hours of Sunday. Foreign Office and Army later took a group of 23 foreign diplomats and media to the areas hit by Indian shelling to show that India had actually targeted civilian population instead of the claimed “terror launch pads”.

Indian High Commission representatives had been invited to the trip, but they stayed away.

Moreover, Indian authorities did not even provide the coordinates of the terrorist targets they claim to have destroyed.

Earlier on Sept 24, Gen Rawat had alleged that terror camps had been reactivated and hundreds of terrorists were waiting to “infiltrate” into occupied Kashmir from the Pakistani side of Line of Control. Those comments were also then rejected as irresponsible.

The Indian army chief has made a number of careless statements on Pakistan in the past also, which served to escalate tensions between the two countries.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals that got engaged in a military stand-off in February have remained high this year, but spiked sharply after India annexed the Valley on August 5 by revoking Article 370.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2019

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