New Delhi: Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said on Thursday that the army is prepared for an operation to retrieve Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from the clutches of Pakistan, if the government wants so.
Rawat was replying to a media query on Union Minister Jitendra Singh's statement who said that the next agenda of the government is retrieving PoK and making it a part of India.
"All actions are decided upon by the central government. Agencies working under the government have to act in accordance with its directions... the Army remains always prepared for any kind of action," Rawat told the media.
Earlier, Singh, who is Minister of State in PMO and also holds independent charge of the DONER ministry (The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region), had made the statement on PoK while talking about achievements of the Modi government after 100 days of its formation.
"Now, the next agenda is retrieving PoK and making it a part of India. It's not only me or my party's commitment, but it's a part of a resolution unanimously passed by Parliament in 1994 during Congress government headed by P V Narasimha Rao," Singh had said in Jammu.
Qureshi warns of possibility of 'accidental war'
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned Wednesday that the situation in Indian Kashmir risked sparking an "accidental war", and urged UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit the troubled region.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Qureshi said he believed both Pakistan and India "understand the consequences of a conflict."
But with tensions soaring since New Delhi revoked Kashmir's autonomy last month, he warned that "you cannot rule out an accidental war." "If the situation persists... then anything is possible," Qureshi said.
Qureshi, who on Tuesday appealed to the Human Rights Council to launch an international investigation into the situation in Indian Kashmir, told reporters he had spoken with Bachelet and had invited her to visit both the Indian and Pakistani parts of the region.
Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
Imran Khan to make 'policy statement' on Kashmir
Pakistan on Thursday said Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a "policy statement" on Kashmir on Friday during his public address at the PoK's capital Muzaffarabad.
Announcing this during his weekly media briefing here on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan is ready for any third party mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue and asserted that the legality of the matter is based on international law.
Mediation offers (on Kashmir) are there but India is not ready. We are ready for it. Our considered view is that all problems can be solved through talks, he said.
Faisal said Prime Minister Khan in his public address in Muzaffarabad would make a "policy statement on Kashmir." However, the Foreign Office spokesperson did not elaborate.
(With inputs from IANS & AFP)