Rawalpindi: Targeting India, Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif has indicated that the Pakistan force is “fully capable” of dealing with “any kind of threat” and any mishap would result in a serious counter attack.
At the Defence Day ceremony for marking 50th anniversary of the 1965 war with India, General Sharif said, “The armed forces of Pakistan is fully capable of dealing with all types of internal and external threats, may it be conventional or sub-conventional; whether it is cold start or hot start.”
He continued, “If the enemy ever resorts to any misadventure, regardless of its size and scale – short or long – it will have to pay an unbearable cost.”
General Sharif’s sharp comments came after Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag earlier had remarked that Indian troops are ready for the ‘swift and short nature of future wars’. In April Indian Army’s ‘Kharga’ Strike Corps had also carried out large-scale war games code-named ‘Brahmashira’ to rehearse ‘swift multiple offensives’.
Paying tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan, Gen. Sharif said that their sacrifices will not go in vain. He said, “I am honoured that soldiers from that war are present among us today.”
The army chief further added, “Pakistan has seen many ups and downs in last 50 years, but I can say with certainty that today we are stronger than before and the nation is more hopeful than ever.”
Gen. Sharif also mentioned that Kashmir is an unresolved regional issue since the partition of the subcontinent. “There can be no peace in the region without resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the UN resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism, Iranian state media reported.
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.
The announcement comes following tensions between the two countries who have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
“Pakistan will not allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, Khan said at the press conference while adding that the problem of terrorism was “increasing differences” between both countries.
“So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue,” Khan said.
Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan on April 18, he said, Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart on April 22 to discuss how both countries can cooperate in not allowing their soil to be used by militant groups.
Stressing that “no third country” could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.
For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to “find ways to increase trade and cooperation…in energy and other areas,” noting that two-way trade was “very limited.”
Khan arrived in Iran on April 21 on his first official visit to the Islamic republic for talks set to focus on strengthening bilateral ties, “fighting terrorism, and safeguarding borders,” Iranian state media reported.
The two countries have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
The two-day trip started with a stopover in the holy city of Mashhad, where Khan visited the shrine of Imam Reza, who is revered by Shi’ite Muslims.
The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on April 20 that 15 gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus in southwestern Balochistan Province on April 18, killing 14 Pakistani Army personnel.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants came from an alliance of three Baluch terrorist organizations based in Iran.
Qureshi told reporters that Khan would take up the matter with Iranian authorities.
Earlier this year, Iran called on Pakistan to take action against a militant group behind a deadly attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).