Pakistan Army stands by Kashmiris: Bajwa

Pakistan’s military “firmly stands” by Kashmiris, the powerful 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 nuclear arch-rivals.

The Army’s top commanders met in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to discuss the move by India, which is also set to exacerbate the long-running bloody rebellion in Kashmir. “The 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 fulfil 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 recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation” of the disputed mountainous region, he added.

On Tuesday, an estimated 500 people demonstrated in Muzaffarabad, the largest city in Pakistani-held Kashmir, with more protests expected across the country. Pakistani lawmakers also began a joint-session of Parliament to discuss a possible response to New Delhi’s move.