The Pakistan Army on Saturday claimed that Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat has been “repeatedly provoking war” through “irresponsible statements” for the sake of his “political masters”. Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major Asif Ghafoor made the remark after Rawat said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was controlled not from Islamabad but by terrorists.

“Indian COAS repeatedly provoking war through irresponsible statements endangering regional peace for electioneering of political masters,” Ghafoor tweeted. “From fake surgical strike to date his only success has been to turn Indian Army into a rogue force and getting them killed.”

Ghafoor added that Rawat’s ambition was to become the chief of defence staff, a new position India plans to create this year. “Indian Army Chief’s statements coupled with blood of innocents on hand, losses to Indian forces at the hands of Pakistan Armed Forces, heli crashes due to so called tech fault cum fratricide just to become Indian CDS is actually at the cost of professional military ethos,” Ghafoor added.

Speaking at the KM Cariappa memorial lecture in New Delhi on Friday, Rawat said: “When we say Jammu and Kashmir, the complete state includes PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Therefore, PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan became a territory which has been illegally occupied by our western neighbour.”

The Army chief warned Pakistan to not resort to any “misadventure” against India, adding that the Indian Armed Forces were fully ready to thwart any such attempts. He said attempts were being made by Pakistani terrorists to disrupt the normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir since the revocation of the state’s special status.

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