Pakistan Spurns India’s Talk of ‘Limited War’

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ISLAMABAD: Amid talk of a ‘limited war’ by the Indian army chief, Pakistan has said that its armed forces are capable of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country against any foreign aggression.

Tensions are running high between the two nuclear-armed hostile neighbours as their troops have frequently exchanged fire along the Line of Control and working boundary for the past few weeks. Both sides blame the other for provoking hostilities.

“[Because of] the frequent ceasefire violations and infiltration bids by our western neighbour, the borders remain live and active. New methods continue to be employed to create unrest in JK. We are acutely aware that the swift, short nature of future wars are likely to offer limited warning time – this calls for maintaining very high levels of operational preparedness at all times,” Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh said on Tuesday at an event in New Delhi.

Pakistan has yet to give a formal reaction to Gen Singh’s warning. However, a senior foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, dismissed the Indian army chief’s warning as ‘mere rhetoric’ saying there was no possibility of a ‘limited war’ between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The official made it clear that Pakistan was capable of defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity against any foreign aggression, particularly from India. Last week Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also ruled out the possibility of a ‘limited war’ between Pakistan and India.

“There is no space for a limited war … Any attack on us will depend on Pakistan’s choice of response and timing,” Asif said during his visit to villages along the working boundary near Sialkot.

Relations between Pakistan and India are at the lowest ebb as a result of current clashes between the two forces along the Line of Control and working boundary.

China advises restraint 

China has advised Pakistan and India to resolve ongoing tensions through mutual dialogue and cooperation and try to curb violations on the border, to ensure their commitment to peace in the region. 

“As a neighbour and friend of India and Pakistan, China calls on the two countries to exercise restraint, manage the situation through dialogue and consultation, properly deal with relevant differences and stay committed to the peace and stability of South Asia,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“China follows closely the development of the situation,” she added.

The advice comes ahead of the military parade to be held in Beijing on September 3 to commemorate World War II, which will be attended by representatives from both countries; President Mamnoon Hussain from Pakistan and India’s minister of state for fefence V K Singh.

President Hussain is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the nation observes the 70th anniversary of China’s war of resistance against Japan. Singh also plans to meet the Chinese president the day after the parade.

The president hopes to brief Beijing about recent ceasefire violations at the Pak-India border. With representatives of both countries offering firsthand accounts of the issues crippling the peace process, Beijing will have a better opportunity to influence what path the India-Pakistan disputes takes.

After the cancellation of the talks between the national security advisers of both sides, both countries have accused the other of violating the ceasefire agreement that has led to loss of civilian lives as well as casualties to the army.

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