Updated: September 4, 2019 10:36:31 pm
Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, Pakistan Army on Wednesday said Kashmir was their “jugular vein” and called the scrapping of special status in Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 an “immoral” step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dawn reported.
“Kashmir is our jugular vein and we will go to any lengths to protect it,” Pakistan Army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor said at a press conference at its headquarters.
The director-general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) further said India had “indirectly continued to attack Pakistan” and cited the example of former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.
“Recently Modi took an immoral step and repealed Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This is no longer a conflict of ideologies,” Dawn quoted Ghafoor as saying.
ISPR Press Conference – 4 Sep 2019 https://t.co/f0bdGRaZc2
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) September 4, 2019
Ghafoor said Pakistan had been fighting a hybrid war for the past 20 years and considering the conflict spectrum, Pakistan’s options of response revolved around the economy, diplomacy, finance, intelligence.
“Maybe India thinks that it should take action against us that would weaken us. We want to tell India that wars are not only fought with weapons and economy but with patriotism,” Ghafoor said.
The “fascist” government of PM Modi had “uprooted Nehru’s step for the region”, Ghafoor said, adding that there was no religious or social freedom in India.
“In India, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Nazi ideology are in power. They endanger minorities including Muslims and Dalits,” he said.
Recalling Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first speech after taking office, Ghafoor said Khan had extended an offer of dialogue to India “in response to which they sent in two warplanes and received a fitting reply”.
“We have avoided escalation. Nuclear countries have no room for war,” Ghafoor said amid recent tensions with India over Kashmir. Hitting out at Modi, the military spokesperson asked why the PM spoke to US President Donald Trump if he did not want mediation.
Regarding the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holding “informal consultations” on Jammu and Kashmir, Ghafoor said, “For the first time in 50 years, the UN Security Council held a session on Kashmir. PM and the foreign minister have talked to several nations’ heads and foreign ministers.”
Ghafoor said the Kashmir issue had now gained international attention and any isolated step by Pakistan that might take the attention away from the matter would be cruelty to them.
“Armies protect a nation’s sovereignty. When that is threatened, warfighting becomes a compulsion instead of a choice. It is up to India and the rest of the world. How can you think that we can do a deal over Kashmir? We have not agreed to do that in 72 years, why would we do that now?” the ISPR chief said.
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