Pakistan vows to stand by Kashmiris, respond to ‘Indian misadventures’

Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a meeting of National Security Council in Islamabad on August 4, 2019. (PID)
Updated 04 August 2019

Pakistan vows to stand by Kashmiris, respond to ‘Indian misadventures’

  • Condemns India’s decision to raise tensions in Kashmir at a time when the world is trying to resolve Afghan conflict
  • Analysts urge the two South Asian nuclear neighbors to prevent a full-scale armed conflict in the region

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is ready to effectively respond to any misadventure or aggression by Indian forces with the full support of the nation, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday as he vowed to stand by the people of Kashmir and continue to provide them moral, political and diplomatic support.
The prime minister made these remarks while chairing a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) that was held to discuss recent escalation along the Line of Control and India’s use of cluster munition against civilians in Azad Kashmir.
Kashmir has surged back into the spotlight in recent days after New Delhi deployed at least 10,000 troops to the region and ordered foreign tourists and pilgrims to vacate the area citing an imminent threat of a suicide bombing.
“Pakistan will always stand with Kashmiris and will not be deterred from its just stance based on the [United Nations Security Council] resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people,” the prime minister said after chairing the meeting that was also attended by the three services chiefs, director-general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and senior federal cabinet members.
Since 1947, Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region with 86,000 square miles of territory, remains disputed between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim it in full but only control parts of it. The two nations have also fought wars over the territory, but the dispute continues to linger on.
The NSC was briefed on India’s use of “cluster munitions against civilians to provoke Pakistan” and it also focused on New Delhi’s intent to change the demographic structure and the internationally recognized disputed status of Indian-administered Kashmir.
“The recent buildup of [Indian] forces [in Kashmir] and their brutal use against an unarmed population is adding fuel to fire,” the NSC said in a statement. “The forum strongly condemned such Indian strategy at this time when Pakistan and the international community are focused on resolving the Afghan conflict.”
The NSC noted that the recent Indian measures would increase the levels of violence and turn the area into a flashpoint and a destabilizing factor in the midst of two strategically capable neighboring countries.
“India is totally disregarding international obligations and her arrogance will only result in heightening the conflict dynamics in the region,” the prime minister said while inviting the attention of world leaders and international bodies toward “irresponsible, unilateral and irrational behavior” of Indian leadership.
The prime minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve “to respond to any Indian misadventure or aggression with the full support of the nation.”
Renowned defense analyst General (r) Talat Masood said the Line of Control had become “very volatile” due to “India’s unprovoked firing on the civilian population across the border and its recent troop buildup in Kashmir to suppress the people struggling for their right to self-determination.”
“Both the countries should start talking to each other to cool off the Line of Control and prevent a full-scale armed conflict for the peace of the whole region,” he told Arab News.

7 dead, several missing after mine collapses in Pakistan

Updated 43 min 4 sec ago

7 dead, several missing after mine collapses in Pakistan

  • Laborers were working in Buner when they got trapped in the rubble
  • KP chief minister has directed authorities to expedite the search and rescue operations

ISLAMABAD: At least seven laborers were killed and several others went missing after a marble mine collapsed in the Buner district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Saturday, media reports said.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said he has directed authorities in the area to expedite the search and rescue operations and extract those trapped in the rubble.

“We stand with the affected families in this hour of grief,” CM Khan said in a tweet posted on Sunday.

CM Khan’s special assistant, Riaz Khan, visited the area on Saturday and said that rescuers were working round the clock to expedite the process, adding that those killed and injured in the incident had been moved to the main district hospital in Buner.

Buner is a mountainous district which is adjacent to the Swat valley and famous for its marble mines.