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Pakistani army ready go to ‘any extent’ to support Kashmiris – chief of staff

Published: August 6, 2019
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Source: RT

Islamabad’s military says it’s ready to go to “any extent” to support the “struggle” of people in the disputed Kashmir region, after India’s president signed a decree revoking Kashmiri autonomy.

On Monday, India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, moved to end the decades-long self-governing status of the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir.The decision was blasted by Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir as its territory.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the military will never recognize the effort by India to “legalize its occupation” of Kashmir.

Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations in this regard.

The Indian-administered part of Kashmir is the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Its special status is enshrined in the Indian constitution. J&K currently enjoys a high degree of autonomy in its domestic affairs and only its recognized citizens can purchase land there.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes that stripping J&K of its special status will allow for it to be better integrated into India proper.

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Early Monday morning, the Indian government announced a change to its constitution, revoking the autonomy of the disputed northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and potentially setting the stage for a major new conflict. The change opens the door to a situation similar to Chinese policy in Tibet and Xinjiang and Israeli policy in the West Bank, allowing the Indian government to move huge numbers of settlers into Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority region, thereby forcibly transforming its demographics.

Another regional conflict could be brewing between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Kashmir. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday requested the international community to mediate the developing crisis as India continues to strengthen its military forces in Kashmir and ordered tourists and pilgrims to leave the Jammu and Kashmir state.

As sporadic skirmishes across the heavily militarized line of control, which separates Indian-controlled Kashmir from Pakistani Kashmir, have continued this week with casualties reported on both sides, an information war has been raging between the nuclear armed powers over just what happened during last Tuesday and Wednesday's events which saw an Indian MiG-21 shot down by Pakistani fighters after an intense dogfight, precipitating a crisis over the captured pilot, later handed back to India.

In a pre-dawn airstrike on Tuesday, according to Indian account, 12 Indian Mirage 2000 fighter jets intruded into Pakistan’s airspace and dropped their payload on the top of a mountain at a terrorist training camp, allegedly belonging to a jihadist group that had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack in the Indian-administered Kashmir on February 14 in which more than 40 Indian soldiers had lost their lives.

Warplanes from India launched an attack on an alleged militant camp Tuesday morning, violating Pakistani airspace in the disputed territory of Kashmir in the latest escalation between the two nuclear powers. The attack carried with it fears of wider war between the two countries. 

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