'Fully prepared to thwart any misadventure,' says Army chief during LoC visit

Published December 23, 2019
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa addresses troops during a visit to the LoC on Monday. — ISPR video screengrab
Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa addresses troops during a visit to the LoC on Monday. — ISPR video screengrab

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where he said that the armed forces are "fully prepared to thwart any misadventure" or aggression for the country's defence, the military's media wing announced.

The visit comes as Indian and Pakistani troops have been exchanging fire across the restive border, with casualties caused on both sides.

"Our quest for peace must never be misconstrued as weakness," the army chief was quoted as saying in a tweet by the Inter-Services Public Relations director general.

"There will never be a compromise on Kashmir, whatever the cost. We are capable and fully prepared to thwart any misadventure/aggression for [the] defence of our motherland," added Gen Bajwa, who also paid a visit to the Combined Military Hospital Muzaffarabad.

ISPR footage showed the army chief met and addressed troops stationed along the LoC and also visited patients receiving treatment at CMH.

The heavily militarised LoC has been frequently witnessing ceasefire violations in a serious breach of the 2003 truce agreement between the two armies, causing mainly civilian casualties in different areas of AJK along the restive dividing line.

On Sunday, Indian and Pakistani troops had exchanged fire in some areas along the LoC but no casualties were reported from anywhere.

The military's media wing had reported on Saturday that the Indian army suffered heavy casualties and damage to its posts when the Pakistan Army responded to ceasefire violations from across the dividing line.

Following Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat's statement that the situation at the LoC could "escalate any time", the DG ISPR had cautioned that the "Pakistan Armed Forces shall befittingly respond to any Indian misadventure or aggression."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan had stated that the Indian army chief's statement adds to Pakistan's concerns of a "false-flag operation".

He had warned that if India undertakes such an operation, "Pakistan will have no option but to give a befitting response".

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