India’s provocations can’t intimidate us, says Gen Raheel

Army chief vows to give befitting response to any attempts to destabilise Pakistan.

Our Correspondent June 04, 2015


“India cannot intimidate us with its provocative statements,” Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said on Thursday.

Talking to the media at the Parliament House after President Mamnoon Hussain’s address to the joint session of the supreme legislative body, the army chief vowed to give a befitting response to any attempts by India to destabilise Pakistan. “We are fully capable of defending our country.”

Gen Raheel said the overall security situation of the country was improving, adding that the ongoing fight against terrorism would continue until the elimination of the last terrorist.

His remarks came a day after he had issued a strong warning to foreign countries – an apparent reference to India – to refrain from using “proxies” against Pakistan.

He had also rebutted the recent claims that Jammu and Kashmir was India’s integral part, saying that Pakistan and Kashmir were “inseparable”.

Relations between India and Pakistan have deteriorated in the recent weeks, particularly after provocative statements were issued by Indian cabinet members and officials.

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement in which he had said India would neutralise terrorists through terrorists, had invited strong reaction from the civil and military  leadership of Pakistan.

Pakistan believes that India’s primary foreign intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is involved in terrorism in the country.

Islamabad is particularly concerned about the “nefarious designs” to create instability in the country to undermine the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said this week that India was firmly opposed to the multibillion-dollar project that Pakistan had dubbed a “game changer” for regional connectivity and economic development.

The flurry of heated exchanges between the two nuclear-armed neighbours has apparently diminished the chances of resumption of peace talks between the two countries in the near future.

‘India sponsoring terror’

Proof of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan suggests that India is sponsoring terrorism, Radio Pakistan quoted Defence Minister Khawaja Asif as saying during an interview with a TV channel. The minister claimed that the Indian intelligence agency had started creating disturbances across Pakistan soon after the launch of the military’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

On the subject of Kashmir, Asif said Pakistan’s stance on the disputed territory’s issue was based on the requirements of justice.

His statement comes a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said during a meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit that Pakistan was keen on developing good relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.


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