ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s civil and military leaders sent out a strong message on Wednesday amidst aggressive posturing from an increasingly hostile India, which has upped the ante following the Sept 18 attack on military base in Uri.
The Pakistani leadership said in unequivocal terms that violence in Indian occupied Kashmir would not be tolerated. They also brushed aside the Indian threat of abrogating the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty which New Delhi is considering to run Pakistan’s river dry.
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“Neither side can unilaterally revoke the treaty,” says a statement issued after a high-level huddle at the Prime Minister House. “The Indus Waters Treaty is a mutually agreed arrangement between India and Pakistan brokered by the World Bank in 1960,” it added. Pakistan has already said that a unilateral abrogation of the treaty would be construed as an ‘act of war’.
Premier Nawaz Sharif presided over the meeting where attendees included army chief General Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, and DGMO Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza.
It was the first important official engagement of Sharif after his return from the United States where he addressed the 71st session of the UN General Assembly and put the spotlight on rampant rights abuses by Indian security forces in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the DGMO briefed the meeting about the security situation on the eastern border, Line of Control and working boundary and on the operational preparedness of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers.
“The Indians are resorting to continued hostility. An aggressive security strategy has been put in place to effectively respond to any aggression,” a source summed up the briefing of Maj Gen Mirza.
Premier Sharif, sources said, apprised participants about his UN visit and how he projected Pakistan’s stance on IOK. The meeting also pored over diplomatic and legal options available to Pakistan in case New Delhi unilaterally revokes the Indus Water Treaty.
“The meeting expressed its deep concern over the increase in systematic human rights violations in IOK and condemned brutal use of force by Indian security forces,” according to the official statement.
“The world is a witness that Pakistan has given tremendous sacrifices for global peace. Pakistan has shown unequalled and unprecedented restraint despite great provocation. Pakistan will continue to strive for a peaceful South Asia with a view to enable its people to progress and prosper in the 21st century. At the same time, Pakistan is fully capable of meeting any internal or external security threat with the complete resolve of its people and valiant armed forces,” it said.
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Sharif reiterated that violence on Kashmiris for demanding their right to self-determination, promised by UN Security Council resolutions, “will never be tolerated and the oppressed Kashmiris deserve not only Pakistan’s support but also the support of the entire world. Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris until the issue of Kashmir is resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiri people.”
The meeting also discussed progress on the implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism and proposed legislation on Fata reforms.
Cabinet expected to meet on Friday
Premier Sharif is expected to chair an important meeting of the federal cabinet tomorrow (Friday), sources in his office told The Express Tribune. The session coincides with the much-trumpeted Rawind march of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Official sources, however, said it was irrational to link the cabinet meeting with the Raiwind march in any way. A number of important agenda items to be moved by the finance division, revenue division, cabinet division and other departments would be taken up by the cabinet, they said.
Political sources said Sharif’s chairing of the cabinet meeting in Islamabad during the Rawind march was aimed at sending out a strong message across to his political foes that the government is not deterred.
Courtesy : Express Tribune