Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Syed Asim Munir on Saturday hit back at “highly irresponsible statements” from Indian officials about Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, saying the Pakistan Army was “ever ready” to take the fight to its enemy.

General Munir’s remarks followed statements from India’s Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

In October, Singh said he hoped to have GB as part of India to complete the mission the Modi government began by annexing Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir in August 2019.

Last week, Dwivedi, the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Indian army’s northern command, commented on Singh’s statement by underscoring that a resolution on the matter already existed in the Indian parliament.

“As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the government of India. We are always ready for it,” a Hindustan Times report quoted him as saying.

The Foreign Office had already rejected Singh’s statement about GB as ridiculous and said it represented India’s expansionist mindset while the ISPR had denounced Dwivedi’s statement as an “apt manifestation” of the Indian army’s “delusional mindset”.

Days after taking charge, the new COAS also addressed the statements. A press release from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued on Saturday stated that during a visit to frontline troops in the Line of Control’s (LoC) Rakhchikri sector, Gen Munir said the army had noticed “highly irresponsible statements” from the Indian leadership on GB and AJK recently.

“Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan’s armed forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland, but, to take the fight back to the enemy, if ever, war is imposed on us,” the press release quoted him as saying.

“Any misconception resulting into a misadventure will always be met with full might of our armed forces backed by a resilient nation.”

He added that the Indian state would never be able to achieve its “nefarious design” and also called on the world to “ensure justice and deliver what is promised” to Kashmiris as per the relevant UN resolutions.

During his visit, the COAS was also briefed on the latest situation along the LoC and the formation’s operational preparedness.

“COAS interacted with officers and soldiers; appreciated their high morale, professional competence and combat readiness while performing their duties in challenging conditions,” the press release reads.

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