Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa claimed on Thursday that no one can make his country “budge through the use or threat of use of force”, amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions following the Pulwama terror attack and the Indian Air Force’s strikes on Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Bajwa was reviewing the military situation during the 219th Corps Commanders’ Conference held in Islamabad when he made the remarks.
The Pakistan Army chief also raised concern about an alleged increase in “Indian atrocities” in “Indian-occupied Kashmir” after the Pulwama attack, The Express Tribune reported. He accused the Indian security forces of “continued and deliberate targeting of civilians along the Line of Control”. Bajwa claimed that such “atrocities” need to be stopped in the interest of regional peace.
“Pakistan is on the positive trajectory of peace, stability and progress,” he said. “No one can make us budge through the use or threat of use of force. Similarly, policy and the right of use of force shall remain the prerogative of the state alone.”
The Pakistan Army chief also discussed the progress of the implementation of the National Action Plan at the event. This is an action plan devised by the Pakistan government in 2015 to combat terrorism, particularly following the 2014 Peshawar school attack, in which at least 132 children were murdered.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Thursday said it will respond “soon” to a dossier New Delhi gave to Islamabad as evidence of the involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group in the Pulwama attack, PTI reported. “It’s being evaluated and a response would be given soon,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal told reporters in Islamabad.
However, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the country’s National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee that India’s charges of Pakistani complicity in the Pulwama attack were “baseless”. Qureshi said Pakistan would cooperate with India if “credible evidence was provided”.