PM, COAS vow to go all out for repelling aggression

Published December 25, 2020
CHIEF of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed call on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House on Thursday.—White Star
CHIEF of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed call on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House on Thursday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran and his top national security aides on Thursday vowed to go all out for defending the country in case of aggression.

The resolve was expressed during a meeting held between Prime Minister Khan and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of reports that India was planning a ‘surgical strike’ against Pakistan. This has been twice stated by senior officials over the past fortnight, more lately by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“It was resolved that the defence of the motherland will be ensured with the support of entire nation at all costs,” the Prime Minister Office said.

Concern voiced over rights violations in held Kashmir

The PMO said the meeting had discussed the “external and internal security situation” and “professional matter pertaining to the Army”.

Expression of concerns about the human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir and mention of ceasefire violations and Indian actions along the Line of Control in the media statement about the meeting left little doubt that the Indian threat was the main agenda topic of the meeting.

“Concern was expressed over continuous human rights violation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” the PMO said.

“Ceasefire violations and frequent provocative measures from Indian forces along Line of Control came under discussion,” it further stated.

Pakistan believes that India could be planning to attack it for defusing internal pressure and divert the world’s attention from the aggravating situation in occupied Kashmir.

Mr Qureshi, during his UAE trip, had said that India was trying to get a nod from “important players” for surgical strikes inside Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. He had said that Pakistan would respond with full force if attacked by India.

Pakistani armed forces have been on ‘high alert’ for weeks to pre-empt any Indian misadventure.

“I am making absolutely clear to the int community that if India was to be reckless enough to conduct a false flag operation against Pakistan, it would confront a strong national Pakistani resolve & be given a befitting response at all levels of the threat. Make no mistake,” Prime Minister Khan had said last week.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed earlier this week warned that any war between the two nuclear armed South Asian rivals would be mutually destructive.

“If she [India] dared to threaten our borders, it will turn into the final battle that history will remember. Temple bells will stop ringing, grass will cease to grow, and birds will stop chirping,” VoA quoted the minister as having said implicitly warning of a possible nuclear exchange with India in the event of a war.

FO briefing

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, at the weekly media briefing, said the world should stop India from undertaking any irresponsible act, which could jeopardise regional peace and stability.

“The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas and continued escalation of tension along the LoC is a patent Indian ploy to create a reckless pretext for conducting a military misadventure against Pakistan,” Mr Chaudhri said.

He said Pakistani forces were fully ready to deal with any misadventure by Indian side.

The spokesman urged the international community to take a serious note of the malicious Indian propaganda that not only aimed to defame Pakistan, but also politicised international fora and imperilled peace and security.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2020

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