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Pakistan Army Ready for Indian ‘Misadventure’: Maj. Gen. Iftikhar

by Newsweek Pakistan

Military spokesman warns Delhi is trying to set stage for false flag operations with false assertions about Islamabad

Pakistan’s armed forces are ready for any misadventure, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar said on Wednesday, as he warned India of “uncontrollable and unintended consequences” if it tested the country’s capabilities.

In a conversation with Geo News anchor Hamid Mir, the military spokesman said Pakistan had already displayed its military capabilities in its response to the Balakot airstrike last year. “Do not play with fire,” he warned India.

During the interview, Maj. Gen. Iftikhar rejected recent Indian allegations that Pakistan was operating “terrorist launch-pads” along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between the two nations, adding that U.N. military observers were free to visit Pakistan and verify this. “Things can become clear if the Indian side also allows access to the U.N. military observer group,” he said, noting that India had repeatedly rebuffed the global body’s attempts to examine its presence in India-held Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to a rise in unprovoked firing over the Line of Control by Indian forces, the ISPR chief said the situation was becoming very serious, adding that seven civilians had embraced martyrdom in a few short weeks. He also noted that India was repeatedly sending in spy quadcopters into Pakistani airspace—two of which have been shot down by Pakistani forces in the past week.

The military chief reiterated to anchor Mir that intelligence suggests India is planning to ramp up its aggression against Pakistan in the next few months to divert global attention from its multiple failures and embarrassment, including the border issue with Nepal, mismanagement of coronavirus and its worsening economic situation.

“India has also faced embarrassment on the standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control. [India Defense Minister] Rajnath Singh has tried to downplay the importance of this conflict,” he said.

Referring to speeches and statements of both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the ISPR chief said they have repeatedly warned of a pending Indian false flag operation. As an example, he said New Delhi had attempted to stage a ‘Pulwama 2’—referring to the 2019 suicide bombing by a Kashmiri separatist on Indian security forces that Delhi used to justify the Balakot strike—by claiming it had seized a vehicle with which Pakistan was sending COVID-19-infected terrorists to India-held Kashmir.

“The vehicle was captured in the night but was destroyed in the day so that the evidence is lost. India is preparing a stage through such activities,” he warned.

Maj. Gen. Iftikhar said Indian moves in India-held Kashmir had backfired, adding that the whole world was not witness to the horrifying human rights violations in the occupied territory.

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