MUZAFFARBAD: Paying rich tribute to the valiant Kashmiris braving relentless Indian repression, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa warned India against “dire consequences” for its desperate efforts to disturb “strategic stability matrix” in South Asia.
He also made it clear to New Delhi that Pakistan Army was fully alive to the threat spectrum and ever ready to discharge its obligations in accordance with the national aspirations.
Gen Bajwa expressed these views during a visit to the restive Line of Control (LoC) in Puna sector in Bhimber district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday, where he spent Eid with the troops, offered Eid prayers and prayed for peace and prosperity of Pakistan in these difficult times particularly to overcome Covid-19 pandemic, according to a statement by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media affairs wing of the army.
“Pakistan Army is observing Eid solemnly in solidarity with Kashmiris under Indian occupation particularly since 5 Aug 2019 illegal, inhuman lockdown and ensuing atrocities,” the army chief said on the occasion.
Gen Bajwa undertook the visit — second in less than a month — at a time when around 740-kilometre-long unmarked LoC has been frequently witnessing artillery duels in a serious breach of Nov 2003 truce agreement, even though the entire region has been hard hit by Covid-19 like the rest of the world.
As the ceasefire violations by Indian army mostly target AJK’s civilian population, as many as seven persons have lost their lives and another 86 have sustained injuries in different vulnerable areas along the dividing line in the current year apart from other losses, according to Syed Shahid Mohyiddin Qadri, a senior civil servant in Muzaffarabad.
Making a reference to it, Gen Bajwa pointed out that India was trying to shift global attention away from worsening humanitarian crisis and violence in occupied Kashmir to the LoC by targeting innocent [AJK] civilians.
“Occupied Kashmir is a disputed territory and any attempt to challenge disputed status, including any political cum military thought related to aggression will be responded with full national resolve and military might,” he said, adding, “disturbing strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences”.
“Pakistan Army is fully alive to the threat spectrum and will remain ever ready to perform its part in line with national aspirations,” he declared.
The army chief expressed the hope that international community would weigh in to ensure freedom of movement for the operations of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) inside Occupied Kashmir as ensured by Pakistan in AJK.
This, he said, could help the UNMOGIP report the tragic consequences of the ongoing atrocities and inhuman clampdown inside occupied Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council and the world at large.
“Indian occupying forces can never suppress valiant spirit of Kashmiris who rightfully await plebiscite under UN resolutions. Regardless of ordeal their struggle is destined to succeed, Insha’Allah,” he said.
During the visit, the army chief also lauded Pakistan army troops for their “professionalism, operational preparedness, befitting response to Indian ceasefire violations and morale in the face of evolving challenges”.
It may be recalled that last time the army chief had visited the LoC near Leepa Valley, towards the southeast of Muzaffarabad, on April 29.
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2020