Pakistan’s outgoing army chief issues warning to India
PAKISTAN’S outgoing military chief warned India it would be dangerous to mistake his country’s “restraint” over recent tensions in disputed Kashmir for weakness, as he handed over power to his successor.
The hugely popular General Raheel Sharif spoke at a colourful ceremony welcoming the incoming chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at a stadium at army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital Islamabad.
“Unfortunately, in recent months, increasing state terrorism in (Indian) occupied Kashmir, and India’s aggressive steps have put the region’s peace in danger,” Mr Sharif said yesterday.
“I want to make it clear to India that considering our policy of restraint a weakness would be dangerous for her,” he said to applause.
Tensions between the nucleararmed neighbours India and Pakistan have spiralled following a deadly assault on an Indian army base in Kashmir in September that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
Mr Sharif spoke yesterday as Indian police said armed militants had launched a fresh attack near the border with Pakistan, killing two soldiers.
Officials said the attack took place in Nagrota in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which borders Pakistan and has seen repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing in recent weeks, and blamed it on “terrorists”.