General Raheel Sharif warns India in his last speech as Pakistan’s Army chief.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s outgoing Army Chief Raheel Sharif on Tuesday warned India not to misunderstand Pakistan’s ‘restraint’ for weakness.
General Sharif, who handed over the command to General Qamar Javed Bajwa at a ceremony here on Tuesday, said India’s miscalculation would be dangerous. “Unfortunately, in recent months, increasing state terrorism in Kashmir, and India´s aggressive steps have put the region´s peace in danger,” he said in his last speech as the Army Chief. He added: “I want to make it clear to India that considering our policy of restraint, a weakness would be dangerous for her.” He said lasting peace and progress was impossible without solution of the Kashmir issue. “For that, international community’s special attention is necessary,” he continued. Tensions between the nuclear-armed countries have spiralled following a deadly assault on an Indian Army base in September that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan.
India said it had responded to the September attack by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking fury from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.
Meanwhile, General Bajwa took over as Chief of Army Staff on completion of Gen. Shar-if’s three-year tenure.
Outgoing Gen. Raheel Sharif handed over the ‘command stick’ to General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Change-of-Command ceremony held here at the Army Hockey Stadium, adjacent to the General Headquarters.
Among others, the ceremony was attended by minister for defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, minister for defence production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, minister of state for information, broadcasting and national heritage, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mehmood Hayat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, and senior officers of the armed forces.