KASHMIR: Pak generals meet, Bajwa says ready to go "any extent" vis-a-vis India’s moves in Kashmir

NEW DELHI: What is Pakistan up to vis-a-vis the changes effected by India on Kashmir’s status through a parliament legislation? Not much hints are coming from Islamabad, but army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Tuesday that the Pakistan Army was prepared to go “any extent” to “fulfil the obligations towards the people of Kashmir” on the Indian side.

“The military leadership fully supports the Pakistan government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir and is prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil its obligations to Kashmiri people,” General Bajwa said in Rawalpindi.
He spoke to the media after a meeting of the Corps Commanders Conference in General Headquarters (GHQ). The meeting was held to review the country’s security situation in view of India withdrawaing Jammu and Kashmir state’s special status and separating Ladakh from the state.

The Director General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) said, “Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu and Kashmir through Article 370 or 35A decades aago, efforts which have now been revoked by India itself.”

Pakistan is both confused and concerned. What happened in respect of Kashmir this week was a closely guarded secret even within India, though speculations hinted at what was likely, but there was no certainty.  An added confusion, as per diplomatic sources, is that home minister Amit Shah has termed the action temporary, and a restoration to state status for Kashmir promised, conditional to improvement in the law and order situation in the Valley. This could blunt the edge of Pakistani protests at international fora, diplomatic circuits believe. Even within India too, activists who go to court will have a weak case to argue in view of this promise from the government, it is felt.

Immediately after word spread about the Indian moves on Kashmir in Parliament on Monday, Pakistan had said vaguely that it condemned the move and would “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”
The Indian forces are closely monitoring the situation across the Line of Control and International Border with Pakistan. Pakistan, on its part, has put its army on a high alert and cancelled leaves of soldiers in view of the troop build-up in this side of Kashmir in the past two weeks. Pakistan knew something was about to happen, but did not know what, as per diplomatic sources. –Agencies, IHN-NN

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