Pakistan’s military “firmly stands” by Kashmiris, the Army chief said on Tuesday, a day after India stripped the disputed region of its special autonomy in a move set to deepen animosity between the neighboring nations.
The Army’s top commanders met in Rawalpindi to discuss the move by India, which is also set to exacerbate the long-running bloody rebellion in Kashmir.
“Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfill our obligations in this regard,” General Qamar Javed Bajwa said, in a tweet sent by a military spokesman after the meeting.
Spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said commanders “fully supported” the civilian government’s rejection of India’s move. “Pakistan never recognized the sham Indian efforts to legalize its occupation” of the disputed mountainous region, he added.
On Tuesday, an estimated 500 people demonstrated in Muzaffarabad, the largest city in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, with more protests expected in major cities across the country. Pakistani lawmakers also began a joint-session of Parliament to discuss a possible response to Delhi’s move.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party on Monday rushed through a presidential decree to scrap the special status granted to the India-Occupied part of Kashmir from India’s constitution. It also moved a bill proposing the India-Occupied part of the Himalayan region be divided into two regions directly ruled by New Delhi.