ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan army on Thursday rejected statements by an Indian military official that Pakistan-backed militants were operating in Indian-administered Kashmir, calling the remarks “fallacious” and reflecting a “delusional mindset.”
Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, who heads the northern command of the Indian army, told reporters this week that the military had data of 82 Pakistani and 53 local militants being active in the disputed Himalayan region while the identities of another 170 insurgents were unknown.
New Delhi has long accused Pakistan of backing armed militants, along with separatist groups in India’s portion of the region. Islamabad denies the Indian accusation, saying it provides only diplomatic and moral support to the separatist movement.
Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan, both of which claim all of the region but rule only in part.
“The unwarranted statement of a high-ranking Indian Army Officer concerning Azad Jammu and Kashmir is an apt manifestation of Indian Armed Forces’ delusional mindset and showcases the vivid imprint of domestic political showboating on Indian military thought,” the Pakistan army said in a statement released on Twitter.
“The fallacious remarks and unfounded allegations of so called ‘launch-pads’ and ‘terrorists’ are an attempt to divert attention from Indian Army’s repressive use of force and gross human rights violations against innocent, unarmed Kashmiris striving for their right of self-determination.”
In August 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government split the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), then the country’s only Muslim majority region, into two federally administered territories.
The reorganization was enacted with a communications blackout and a harsh security clamp-down, with the government flooding the heavily-militarised region with additional troops.
Pakistan has since suspended trade ties and downgraded diplomatic relations with India.