Pakistan Army Chief Warns of Change in Kashmir Status

The Indian-administered Kashmir remains under lockdown for over 10 months.“Disturbing the strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences”

ISLAMABAD (Updated) — Pakistan’s army on Sunday warned that any attempt to challenge the disputed status of Indian-administered Kashmir, including any move towards aggression, will be answered with full military might.

“Kashmir is a disputed territory and any attempt to challenge the disputed status including any political cum military thought related to aggression will be responded with full national resolve and military might,” army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said while addressing troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) – a de facto border that divides the disputed Himalayan valley between the two nuclear rivals.

“Disturbing the strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences,” he cautioned, referring to New Delhi’s scrapping of the disputed region’s decades-long special status last August.

Bajwa, who spent Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with frontline soldiers at the Kashmir border, lauded their “professionalism, operational preparedness, and befitting response” to alleged violations of a 2003 ceasefire agreement by Indian border force.

“Pakistan Army is observing Eid solemnly in solidarity with Kashmiris under Indian occupation particularly since the Aug. 5 illegal, inhuman lockdown, and ensuing atrocities,” he went on to say, according to a statement from the army.

India, he added, is trying to shift global attention away from “worsening humanitarian crisis and violence” in Kashmir to the Line of Control (LoC) by “targeting innocent civilians.”

“Pakistan Army is fully alive to the threat spectrum, and will remain ever ready to perform its part in line with national aspirations,” he said.

The army chief who aspires “enduring stability in the region” — observers call it the “Bajwa Doctrine”, said that Kashmiris rightfully await plebiscite under UN resolution. “Regardless of ordeal their struggle is destined to succeed InshaAllah”.

He said he hoped the international community would weigh in to ensure freedom of movement for UN observers inside Indian-administered Kashmir, as ensured by Pakistan in its controlled part of the valley, “so that the tragic consequences of ongoing atrocities and inhuman clampdown inside occupied territory is reported to the United Nations Security Council and the world at large.”

The Indian-administered Kashmir remains under lockdown for over 10 months.

Speaking to DesPardes, renowned India observer Khalid Almaeena –based in the Middle East, said, the Kashmir issue is a political and human rights issue. “The unprovoked changing of the Kashmir Status Quo by the Indian government and violation of previous agreements has caused serious alarms”.

“The detention of thousands of politicians and civil society leaders and violation of human rights is a matter of serious concern”.

According to him, the peaceful opposition to Indian occupation might turn into a violent one “which may induce India into a cross border operation which will quickly turn into a war”.

“India should not take the region to the brink by it provocations and should
engage in a more mature manner so as to avoid another human disaster in the subcontinent”.

“Its important that Delhi understand this. Wars will not be beneficial specially at a time when there is an economic crisis in both countries”.

Almaeena, who is a Saudi political and media analyst, was the Editor-in-Chief of the Arab News from 1982 to 2011.

Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but 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 in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

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