Pakistan Army chief plays Kashmir tune, again

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As tensions between India and Pakistan continue to fester, the hostility between the two countries has come to the fore once again with the remarks made by Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif on Kashmir. Stating that Kashmir was the “unfinished agenda of the Partition”, he said his troops are ready to thwart “external aggression”.

The remarks by Pakistan’s Army Chief was made days after India’s Army Chief General Dalbir Singh had said that “Pakistan-sponsored violence in Jammu and Kashmir and other areas could trigger short and swift wars.” Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war between India and Pakistan at Rawalpindi, General Sharif spoke about terrorism, the peace process in Afghanistan, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but the focus largely remained on Kashmir.

In the backdrop of the recent cancellation of talks between the National Security Advisors (NSA) of the two countries, the ties between India and Pakistan have plummeted to a new low. Speaking about Pakistan’s preparedness to tackle threats, General Sharif said: “Armed forces of Pakistan are fully capable to deal (with) all types of internal and external threats, be it conventional or sub-conventional; whether it is cold start or hot start. We are ready!” He added that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully capable of defeating any external aggression irrespective of the size and scale, which is seen as an apparent reference to India. Stressing that peace in the region will not be possible without a solution to Kashmir, General Sharif stated, “The time has come that Kashmir issue should be resolved in line with the aspirations of its people in accordance with UN resolutions.”

The unresolved Kashmir issue remains at the heart of conflicted ties between India and Pakistan.


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