By Islamuddin Sajid
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday strongly condemned recent “provocative” remarks by Indian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat against Pakistan.
“This is not the first time that he has resorted to such belligerent rhetoric against Pakistan,” ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said during his weekly briefing.
“Such belligerent statements from the senior military leadership of India provide insight into how the BJP-RSS mindset — a dangerous mix of an extremist ideology, hegemonic ambitions and obsession with Pakistan — has permeated Indian state institutions, including their army,” he added.
Last week, Gen. Rawat said Pakistan could try to take advantage of any threat developing along India’s northern borders and warned that the Pakistani army would suffer heavy losses if it attempted any misadventure, according to the Hindustan Times.
Chaudhri said India’s defense capabilities had been embarrassingly exposed to the world not long ago.
“India’s defense capabilities are very well known to Pakistan, and Pakistan’s readiness to respond to any Indian misadventure is also known to the world,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the Indian government, in response to any geopolitical, economic or military setback, instead of learning from its mistakes and instituting course correction, simply doubles down on its miscalculation and bellicose rhetoric.”
He advised Gen. Rawat to focus on his job rather than making pointless accusations against peaceful neighbors which have accomplished nothing for India other than conflict and humiliation.
“Rather than whipping up anti-Pakistan sentiments, the current Indian leadership should focus on the peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, per international law and the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” he said.
Referring to his country’s relations with China, Chaudhri said “Pakistan and China are ‘all-weather strategic co-operative partners’ and remain committed to promoting peace, stability and development in the region.”
“Pakistan has been repeatedly emphasizing that India’s expansionist and unilateral actions, particularly since Aug. 5, 2019, have been imperiling regional peace and security. The latest situation at the China-India border areas validates Pakistan’s concerns and demonstrates that India’s belligerence remains a major impediment in resolving the issues at its borders,” he said.
Tensions have mounted between Beijing and New Delhi since June this year, when India lost 20 of its soldiers in hand-to-hand fighting with the Chinese military on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a de facto border near the Himalayan region of Ladakh in Indian administered Kashmir. Since then, a series of meetings have been conducted between the two countries but without success.
On Tuesday, India and China accused each other of opening fire at disputed borders after decades where using arms was prohibited, according to a 1996 agreement between the two countries. It was the first such incident since October 1975, when four Indian soldiers were killed at the border by gunfire.
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