Pakistan Army chief rejects India’s claim on surgical strike

Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday rejected claims by the Indian Army chief about “surgical strike” against Pakistan, or its possible recurrence, the army’s public relations unit said.

“Gen. Bajwa rejects self-defeating claims by Indian COAS about ‘so called surgical strike’ and its possible recurrence,” Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.

The army chief said the armed forces were ready to respond to any aggression from the Indian side. “Pakistan armed forces are fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

The statement came a day after the newly appointed Indian Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, said “surgical strikes” against Pakistan were meant to deliver a message, and the possibility of similar action in future could not be ruled out.

Also, Gen Rawat on January 2 said India’s armed forces would not “shy away from flexing their muscles, if need be.”

In September last year, New Delhi said that its forces carried out surgical strikes inside Pakistan against “terror launch pads”. The claim was forcefully rejected by Islamabad.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been running high following the unrest in the Kashmir Valley and the attack on the Indian Army’s Uri base camp in September.

Since then, cross-border firing has broken out repeatedly in Kashmir, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.

Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by the government forces in Jammu and Kashmir.