“Insights into Pakistan Army Chief’s Role in Resolving the Kashmir Issue”
Faisal Qayyum Magray
The state of Kashmir has always been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Both of the countries claim their control over Kashmir since independence 1947. The conflict took another dimension when the Indian government illegally abrogated the Article 370 of their Constitution. As a result, Jammu & Kashmir has lost limited autonomy and its independent administrative control and came under the control of Indian government. India continues to try to increase tension through anti-Pakistan statements and in the past few months, the Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has once again threatened Pakistan. Gen Syed Asim Munir, the new Chief of the Pakistan Army, while responding to his controversial statements regarding the occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, has made it clear in a very open manner that the Pakistan Army has the ability to invade and kill enemies in case of aggression, and if war is imposed, we will not only defend the motherland but also take the fight to the enemy’s territory. This is not the first time that tensions have flared between India and Pakistan over these disputed territories. In recent years, India has taken a particularly aggressive stance towards Pakistan, with its leaders frequently making statements that are seen as provocative and bellicose. This has led to an increase in tensions between the two countries, with both sides engaging in a war of words that has raised concerns about the possibility of a military conflict. General Munir’s response to Indian officials’ latest comments was therefore seen as a necessary show of strength. In his statement, he emphasized that the Pakistan Army was fully prepared to defend its territory, and would not hesitate to take the fight to its enemy if necessary. Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir’s statement, which he gave during his visit to LOC has not only boosted the morale of the people of IIOJK, but also refuted the recent propaganda paddled by a section of Indian media that the Kashmir dispute has not been a top priority, for now. It further maintained that Pakistan would never leave Kashmiri brethren in the lurch in any circumstances and will continue to support the Kashmir cause through thick and thin. General Munir’s statement was a direct response to the Indian officials’ comments on the Indian claim over Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. He further added that Pakistan will not back down from its claim over these regions and will do everything in its power to protect the rights of the people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The statement is significant as it comes at a time when the region is witnessing a surge in tensions between India and Pakistan. India has long claimed that Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are part of its territory and has even gone to the extent of abrogating Article 370 in August 2019 to bring Jammu and Kashmir under its direct control. Pakistan, on the other hand, has consistently maintained that these territories are part of its sovereign territory and has even gone to war with India over the issue in the past. However, General Munir’s statement indicates that Pakistan is not willing to back down from its position on Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, despite international pressure. The statement is also a reminder to India that Pakistan is willing to use military force to protect its territorial integrity. In conclusion, General Munir’s statement underscores Pakistan’s commitment to defending its territorial integrity and sovereignty, particularly in the disputed regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. It also highlights the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan over the region, and the need for the international community to play a more active role in resolving the dispute.