World Bulletin / News Desk
Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa Thursday said he rejected “self-defeating” claims by his Indian counterpart about “so-called” surgical strikes in the Pakistani part of Kashmir last September.
"Pakistan’s armed forces are fully geared to respond to any aggression by India," said a statement by Bajwa, who was appointed head of the country’s powerful army in November.
He was reacting to remarks by newly appointed Indian army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, who told Indian NDTV Tuesday that surgical strikes against Pakistan were meant to deliver a message “that needed to be communicated.”
Hostilities between arch-rivals India and Pakistan have increased since India accused Pakistan of having links to gunmen who killed 19 soldiers in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) last September.
Pakistan has denied the charge, while itself accusing India of repressing pro-independence protests that started in the disputed Himalayan region in July, since when more than 100 Kashmiri civilians have been shot dead by Indian forces, with thousands injured.
The brazen attack led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to claim that Indian forces carried out surgical strikes in the Pakistani part of Kashmir – better known as Azad (independent) Kashmir – killing several “militants”.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far, most of them by the Indian Armed forces. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ocak 2017, 19:15