IN THE NEWS: KASHMIR ISSUE: SHALL GO TO ANY EXTENT, SAYS COAS (AUGUST 7, 2019)

Written by admin on Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

Kashmir issue: Shall go to any extent, says COAS
SOURCE: The News International
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
By MUHAMMAD ANIS

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday affirmed the Pakistan Army’s support to Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom and said they were prepared to go to “any extent to fulfill their obligations” in this regard.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Bajwa presided over the corps commanders conference held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on the single point agenda of the situation in the Indian-Held Kashmir.

“The forum fully supported the government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir. Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through Article 370 or 35-A decades ago; efforts which have now been revoked by India itself,” the statement read.

“Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfill our obligations in this regard,” the ISPR quoted General Bajwa as saying.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday emphatically said Pakistan would never let India annex the state of Kashmir and would go to any lengths to counter the illegal constitutional steps taken there.

Giving a policy statement in the joint session of parliament, he said the revocation of articles 370 and 35A by the Indian government would intensify the freedom struggle. He said all heads of states would be apprised of the issue besides sensitizing the international media to the human rights violations in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

He assured parliament that the government would raise the Kashmir issue at every international forum, including the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Security Council and heads of states and tell them as to what was happening in the occupied valley.

He said as India tried to suppress the Kashmiris, there would be reaction against them and New Delhi would be quick to blame Pakistan.

Khan said the two nuclear states could not afford war but if India attempted any misadventure, it would get a befitting response. “We will fighttill last drop of our blood like Tipu Sultan,” he said, adding that in case of a war there would be no victors.

The prime minister said this was no nuclear blackmail but he was appealing to common sense. “Is the world prepared for this? We appeal to the world that a country is violating laws and there will be serious consequences if the world does not intervene,” he said.

Imran recalled that there were no loss of lives when Indian jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC). “Had there been any causality on our side on February 26, our PAF jets would also have locked targets on their side too causing causalities.

“After India’s February 26 misadventure, we had a meeting at 3am where the army and air chiefs were also present and it was decided that India would be given a token response,” he continued.

He said what the BJP government did now had not happened suddenly rather it was planned and was the election manifesto of the ruling elite and ingrained in the RSS ideology.

He said the ideology of RSS was that they wanted ethnic cleansing of Muslims and a separate state for Hindus only adding that what was being meted out to Muslims and other minorities for the last six years was the BJP government’s ideology.

Imran said the BJP government had acted against their Constitution, the Simla Agreement and the verdicts of their Supreme Court and High Court. “They want to change demography in the IHK, which is against the Geneva Convention, but it is their ideology,” he said.

Imran Khan expressed fear that India might resort to ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris in order to change the demography of IHK. He said Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had recognized it much earlier and supported the Two-Nation Theory to give the Muslims of India a separate homeland that was free from bigotry and racism.

He said even those Indians who did not believe in the Two-Nation Theory had realized the issue’s importance now. He warned that if the two nuclear neighbors failed to resolve their issues, including Kashmir, a Pulwama-like incident could drag them into a war, which would not restrict to a conventional one.

Imran said after coming into power, he sought to improve relations with all the neighbors, including India, as he had a vision to rid the country of poverty.

He said after winning elections, he offered India that if it took one step, Pakistan would respond with two. However, Imran said, his hand of friendship was not reciprocated by India. “We got a feeling that India was not interested in talks,” he said, adding when Pulwama incident occurred, all the blame was put on Pakistan.

He said the Indian government wanted to make Pakistan a scapegoat. He said after the Pulwama attack, he had told India that Pakistan had nothing to do with it, as it was a local reaction.

“But, the Indians blamed Pakistan for the incident without any proof and launched a provocative action on 26th February this year against us, which was befittingly responded to by our valiant armed forces.”

He said Pakistan even returned the captured Indian pilot as it believed in humanity and resolution of all issues through talks. The prime minister said the attitude of Indian government after elections showed that they were not serious about resolving bilateral issues peacefully.

Imran said he had approached all the neighbours, including Afghanistan and India, for promotion of peace, stability and end to poverty not only in Pakistan, but also in the region. Imran said all his visits to neighbouring countries were meant for promotion of peace and stability.

He said during his visit to Afghanistan, he invited the Afghan leadership to work together to address our past differences. “I even talked to India and told them that if they take one step towards us, we will move two steps forward. I also visited Iran and the United States.”

“When I first reached out to India, they expressed concerns that militant outfits were operating from Pakistan. I told Modi that after the grave and painful tragedy of the Army Public School massacre, all our political parties had resolved to never let the territory of Pakistan be used for terrorist activities. But I got the feeling that the Indian side was not serious about talks.”

“I soon realized that India was not interested in talking to us. They took our peace overtures for weakness, so we stopped offering dialogue.” Imran said when he visited Bishkek, his suspicions about India’s unwillingness to hold dialogue with Pakistan were strengthened.

“During my meeting with the US President Trump, I sought his mediation for resolution of Kashmir issue, as it had made the people of the region hostage for decades, but the Modi government further worsened the situation. Even in their domestic politics, the BJP government has cornered the opposition parties and tarnished India’s image of being a secular state,” Imran said.

Imran said not only Pakistan, but also the whole Muslim world understood and recognized the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination. He observed that not only the Pakistani nation, but the Kashmiris and whole world would also be watching the joint session.

“We should send a signal to the world that the whole nation stands united. The recent actions of the Indian government will have repercussions for the whole world,” he warned. He urged the international community to play its due role in resolution of Kashmir issue for regional peace and security, as the issue had the potential to harm the international peace efforts.

 

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