December 2019 News

Pakistan Warns India Deploying Missiles In Kashmir To Launch Attack

19 December 2019
Voice of America
Ayaz Gul

Islamabad: Pakistan says rival India has deployed, among other escalatory steps, medium-range missiles in the disputed Kashmir allegedly to stage a cross-border military attack and harm regional peace. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video statement Thursday he has written to the United Nations Security Council to share Islamabad's concerns about what it perceives as the threat New Delhi poses to regional security. In the letter, Qureshi said he has requested the world body task U.N. observer missions in India and Pakistan to conduct an independent verification of the ground situation and bring 'the facts' to the Council's attention. 'Signals picked up by our intelligence point towards an extraordinary (military) movement and deployment at the Line of Control (LoC),' the minister said while referring to the cease-fire line separating Pakistani and Indian portions of Kashmir. Qureshi went to on to allege India has also deployed its medium-range supersonic cruise Brahmos missiles, saying the move is deeply concerning for Pakistan. He noted in his letter that Indian military forces have removed fencing in several areas along the LoC, saying the action speaks of the neighboring country's 'ill-intentions'. Pakistan's warning came a day after India's army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, said the situation along the Kashmir LoC 'can escalate any time' and accused the neighboring country of fueling the tensions. 'The army is maintaining a high level of operational readiness, with detailed plans chalked out to cater for different contingencies,' Indian media quoted Rawat as saying. Pakistani officials alleged India's aggressive military posture is an attempt to divert international attention from New Delhi's August 5 'extreme measures' in Kashmir, including unilateral alteration of the status of its part of Kashmir. Both countries claim the Himalayan region in its entirety. Indian authorities also have since placed Kashmir under a communication blackout, effectively cutting millions of residents in the country's only Muslim majority region from the rest of the world. The move has escalated bilateral military tensions and prompted Pakistan to downgrade already troubled diplomatic ties with India. 'Pakistan armed forces shall befittingly respond to any Indian misadventure or aggression,' military spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor warned in a response to Wednesday's statement by the Indian army chief. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir and came close to a fourth war in February when a suicide bombing in Kashmir, allegedly planned by a Pakistani militant group, killed 40 Indian soldiers.

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