Pakistan’s army chief warns India against any ‘misadventure’

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after Pakistan’s newly-appointed army chief warned that any "misadventure" by the neighboring country will be met with "full might."

Gen. Asim Munir, who has recently taken the charge from his predecessor Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, issued the warning during his visit to the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border that divides the disputed Kashmir valley between the two nuclear neighbors, earlier this week.

The fresh warning followed separate statements from Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, and Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Indian army’s northern command, on the status of the disputed Kashmir valley and the Gilgit-Baltistan region near the China border.

Singh, in October, said he hoped to have Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region soon to complete the mission the BJP government began by annexing the Indian-administered Kashmir in Aug. 2019, inviting ire from the international community, mainly Islamabad's longtime ally, China.

Endorsing Singh's statement, Gen. Dwivedi, last week, said the army was fully ready to implement the government's decision.

Munir said the military is ready to defend the country if attacked.

“We have noticed highly irresponsible statements from Indian leadership on GB and AJK (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) recently. Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan's armed forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland but to take the fight back to the enemy, if ever, war is imposed on us,” said Munir, a former head of the country's premier intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), according to a statement from the military.

“Any misconception resulting into a misadventure will always be met with the full might of our armed forces backed by a resilient nation,” he was further quoted as saying.

India, he went on to say, will never be able to achieve its "nefarious" designs.

He urged the international community to ensure "justice and deliver what is promised to the Kashmiri people as per UN resolutions."

Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989.

Already frosty relations between the two countries plummeted to a new low after August 2019, when India scrapped the longstanding special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The two neighbors, however, last year, agreed to honor the 2003 cease-fire along the LoC followed by an exchange of letters between the two premiers and unconfirmed reports of "backdoor" contacts to stem the escalating tensions.

Islamabad, nonetheless, reiterates that the normalization of ties with New Delhi is linked to the review of the Aug. 5 decision, and the ultimate resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

Source: AA

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