Pakistan ready to meet direct, indirect threats: Army chief

Islamabad, Sep 19 (IANS) The Pakistani military is “closely monitoring regional developments” and is ready to meet any direct or indirect threats, army chief General Raheel Sharif said on Monday.

Addressing a Corps Commanders conference in Rawalpindi, the General made no specific reference to the Sunday attack on an Indian Army camp that left 18 soldiers dead.

India has blamed Pakistan for the bloodbath. Islamabad has denied the charge.

The Express Tribute quoted Gen Sharif as saying: “We are fully cognisant and closely watching the latest happenings in the region and their impact on the security of Pakistan.”

He expressed satisfaction over the operational readiness of the Pakistan Army.

“The armed forces of Pakistan are fully prepared to respond to the entire spectrum of direct and indirect threats.”

The military’s media wing said the external and internal security situation and operational preparedness of the army were reviewed at the Rawalpindi meeting.

“Pakistan’s armed forces … will thwart any sinister design against the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan,” a statement quoted the army chief as saying.

The army chief’s remarks came after Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s senior aide, said the Sunday attack was an attempt on New Delhi’s part to deflect attention from the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

Aziz said it was particularly deplorable that India chose to blame Pakistan for the killing of the 18 soldiers before carrying out a formal investigation.

“The statement is part of a pattern to mislead world opinion and cover up India’s reign of terror in (Kashmir),” he said.

India-Pakistan relations have plunged to a new low in recent times, after Islamabad came out openly in support of mass protests in Jammu and Kashmir following the July 8 killing of a militant commander.

–IANS

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