ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army’s top brass convened the 219th Corps Commanders’ Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Thursday, reviewing the geostrategic environment of the region and expressing concern over “atrocities” in Indian-administered Kashmir in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident.
According to an official handout circulated by the military’s public relations wing, the forum observed that “continuity of such brutalities [in Indian-administered Kashmir] was only fueling the fire and need to be stopped in the interest of regional peace.”
The participants of the conference also condemned the “deliberate targeting of civilians along [the] Line of Control [LoC] by Indian occupation forces” and expressed strong will and resolve “to defend the motherland against any misadventure or aggression.”
The conference was held just a few days after tensions broke out between the two South Asian nuclear states, India and Pakistan, in the wake of a suicide attack in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir last month. The incident was followed by Indian airstrikes near Balakot in which New Delhi claimed to have targeted a militant training camp.
Pakistan denied that the airstrikes had caused any damage to the infrastructure or resulted in any causality on its side, though it did not prevent its air force to engage “non-military targets” on Indian side of the LoC, shoot down fighter jets of the enemy nation, and capture an Indian pilot who was later returned to his country.
The showdown between the two countries also resulted in heightened tensions in Indian-administered Kashmir where New Delhi has imprisoned separatist leaders without framing any charges against them.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who presided over the conference, appreciated the morale and performance of Pakistan’s forces and expressed his gratitude to the nation for its continued support toward the country’s military. He also instructed the men in his command to continue with their state of vigilance and respond to any threat to their country.
“Pakistan is on the positive trajectory of peace, stability and progress,” he said. “No one can make us budge through use of threat or use of force. Similarly, policy and the right of use of force shall remain the prerogative of the state alone.”
The army chief also discussed progress on the National Action Plan which provides guidelines in dealing with the threat of terrorism within the country and instructed the military to assist other state institutions to help accelerate its implementation.