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Kashmir solution not in ‘raining bullets’ on people: Pak army chief

In a fresh escalation in the continuing Indo-Pak war of words, army chief General Raheel Sharif has spoken about “raining bullets” on people in the Kashmir Valley and made veiled references to India by talking of “covert and overt intrigues of enemies”.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2016 16:36 IST
PTI
Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif said the Kashmir issue could not be resolved by ‘raining bullets’ on its people.
Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif said the Kashmir issue could not be resolved by ‘raining bullets’ on its people.(Reuters File Photo)

In a fresh escalation in the continuing Indo-Pak war of words, army chief General Raheel Sharif has spoken about “raining bullets” on people in the Kashmir Valley and made veiled references to India by talking of “covert and overt intrigues of enemies”.

Describing Kashmir as Pakistan’s “lifeline”, he said the true solution to the Kashmir issue lies not in “raining bullets” upon people in the Valley but in “heeding” to their voices and respecting their aspirations.

“Kashmir issue can only be resolved by implementing the UN Resolutions,” he said during a ceremony marking ‘Defence Day’ in Rawalpindi yesterday.

Kashmir is Pakistan’s “lifeline” and “we shall continue our diplomatic and moral support to the freedom movement at all levels,” Raheel said.

Efforts to internationalise issue

As part of Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special envoy has briefed the Human Rights Council President and the ICRC President in Geneva on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.

Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Chairman Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly who is currently visiting Geneva as the Prime Minister’s special envoy, briefed the “Geneva international community on the grave human rights situation” in Kashmir on Tuesday, a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.

“The alarming impact of pellet gun injuries leading to ‘dead eyes’ phenomenon on the peaceful protesters was also highlighted,” it said. “He emphasised the importance of implementation of UN Security Council’s resolutions that recognise Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory and call for a free and fair plebiscite for the realisation of the right to self- determination of Kashmiris.”

Leghari is part of the 22 parliamentarians nominated by Prime Minister Sharif as special envoys to be dispatched to world capitals to highlight the Kashmir situation.

Backing the demand for self-determination in Kashmir, Raheel said the “oppressed people” of the Valley are once again suffering “worst form of state terrorism” and “repression” for demanding their due rights.

In a veiled reference to India, he said Pakistan was aware of conspiracies by “enemies”.

‘Covert and overt intrigues’

“We are fully aware of all covert and overt intrigues and intentions of our enemies. Be the challenge military or diplomatic, be the danger on the borders or within the cities, we know our friends and foes all too well. We know well how to abide by bonds of friendship and how to avenge upon our enemies,” Raheel said.

Pakistani armed forces are fully capable of defending Pakistan in conventional and non-conventional warfare, and from any internal or external threat, he said.

“Pakistan’s defence had been strong in the past but now it is impregnable,” Raheel said, adding that Pakistan wants good relations with all the neighbouring countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

He said the key to regional peace is balance of power.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the symbol of mutual respect for countries, which will ensure progress not only in Pakistan but also in the entire region, Raheel said.

He said the security and timely completion of CPEC is the national duty, and no power will be allowed to disrupt it.

The army chief said Pakistan has been sincerely playing its role for peace in Afghanistan as peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan. Effective border management with Afghanistan is a priority of Pakistan, which will help achieving the goal of durable peace, he said.

“Some opportunistic elements are trying to create an environment of distrust, but they will not succeed,” he said.

Referring to terrorism in Pakistan, Raheel said the right of state has been established across the country as a result of over 19,000 military operations against terrorists.

Federal Ministers, parliamentarians, the services chiefs, ambassadors, and other prominent personalities attended Defence Day ceremony which is observed in Pakistan to mark the 1965 war with India.