Islamabad: Upping the ante, Pakistan warned India that its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression, with army chief General Raheel Sharif saying if ever Pakistan launched surgical strikes India would not be able to forget it for generations. “If Pakistan were to launch surgical strikes, India would not be able to forget it for generations to come,” General Sharif said just days before his scheduled retirement.
“India would be teaching its children as part of syllabus what a surgical strike means if Pakistan launched such strikes,” he said.
He also dismissed India’s assertion that it had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan army was capable of teaching Indian forces a lesson.
Addressing tribal elders after inaugurating a cricket stadium named after flamboyant cricketer Shahid Afridi in Khyber tribal region, the General confirmed he will be retiring on November 29 after a three-year term, as scheduled.
He said he would dedicate his life after retirement for the welfare of the families of martyrs of the armed forces. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will not tolerate “deliberate targeting” of civilians particularly children and women, ambulances and civilian transport. “Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite continuing ceasefire violations from Indian security forces along LoC,” he said at a cabinet meeting which reviewed the situation along the LoC. “We will not tolerate the deliberate attack on innocent civilians,” he said.
According to a statement issued by his office, Sharif said Kashmir issue “is an unfinished agenda of the partition” and vowed to continue support to the people of Kashmir.
“We will never abandon our Kashmiri brethren in their freedom struggle,” he said.
The meeting re-affirmed Pakistan’s “political, diplomatic and moral support” to the people of Kashmir “in their just and legitimate struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions”, his office said.
The meeting urged the international community to take note of the increasing number of civilian casualties. It also called upon the international community to play active role in diffusing the deteriorating security situation along the LoC.
Air Force chief Marshal Sohail Aman also said Pakistan is not worried at all about any threat from India and its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression.
“We are not worried about India at all,” he said, speaking at the 9th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi. He said it is better if India showed restraint and solved the Kashmir issue to prevent escalation of tension.
“India should show restraint and instead solve the issue of Kashmir as that would be better for them,” he said. Aman said that Pakistan does not want war but cannot ignore this kind of pressure. “We are well capable of responding in the face of any aggression,” he asserted. He said Pakistan had “readied all of its (battle) plans following threats from India” after the Uri terror attack. Meanwhile, Pakistan naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah today termed as “unusual” the alleged effort by an Indian submarine to enter into its territorial waters and warned of retaliation if such effort was made again.
“If India does something like this again, Pakistan Navy will respond to protect our sovereignty,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 9th International Defence Exhibition.
Pakistan Navy last week claimed an Indian submarine was pushed back after being detected near its territorial waters. India, however, strongly dismissed the charge as “blatant lies”, saying the Indian Navy did not have any under water movement in the said waters as claimed by the Pakistani Navy. The remarks by top civil and military leadership came a day after Pakistan claimed that Indian forces targeted a passenger bus in PoK killing at least nine people.