Days after India decided to call off talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month, the two countries have started blaming each other. Upping the ante, the armies of the two countries have also jumped in the war of words.
While Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday welcomed India’s decision to call off talks and said that it’s time to “give it back” to Pakistan Army and terrorists, Pakistan Army has said that the nuclear-powered nation is “ready for war”.
Pakistan Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor said, “We are always ready and prepared for war. War happens when either side is unprepared for it.”
He said Pakistan’s desire for peace “should not be misconstrued as its weakness”.
Pakistan’s Geo News, a news channel, quoted Major General Asif Ghafoor, who is also the spokesperson of Pakistan Army, saying that “the Indian government has failed to clamp down the political struggle of Kashmiris”. He said Pakistan’s offer for dialogue is still on the table. “We know the cost of peace and we want to take it ahead,” he said.
On Saturday, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had said that “talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand.” This was after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called India’s decision to cancel the talks between foreign ministers of the two countries as “arrogant and negative”. General Rawat said India needs to take “stern action to avenge the barbarism carried out by terrorists and Pakistan Army”.
“Yes, it’s time to give it back to them [Pakistan] in the same coin…not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain,” Rawat had said.
India, on Friday, decided to call off the meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan that it had agreed to a day before. India cited the recent killing of three SPOs in the Kashmir Valley allegedly by Pakistan-backed terrorists and the mutilation of the body of BSF Head Constable Narendra Kumar near the International Border as one of the reasons for cancelling the talks. The body of the soldier was found on September 19 with multiple bullet injuries and his throat was slit.
Another reason cited by India was that Pakistan has released a series of 20 postage stamps glorifying Burhan Wani, a terrorist who was killed by Indian forces in Kashmir in 2016.
Addressing medipersons after the cancellation of talks, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar had said, “Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, their evil agenda stands exposed and the true face of the new PM has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office. Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless.”
Highly placed sources have told India Today TV that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself reviewed the decision on the talks.
Pakistan’s Army, as per Geo News, however, rebuffed the Indian government’s claim that it mutilated the body of its soldier.
“We categorically dismiss the Indian allegation. We are a professional army. We can’t disrespect the body of a soldier even if he belongs to an enemy state,” Major General Asif Ghafoor reportedly said.