The article originally appeared on India Today. 

The Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today visited the Line of Control (LoC). Like has been the tradition, he used the occasion to spew venom against India. He termed India terror sponsor of the region and said that the Pakistan Army is fully geared up to protect Pakistan. Seeing a pattern in the alleged cease fire violations (CFVs) by India, he repeated Pakistan’s favourite Kashmir rant vowing to save people of Kashmir, that Pakistan calls Azad Kashmir and that is in illegal occupation of Pakistan, from the Indian aggression and assured Pakistan’s continued solidarity with people of Jammu and Kashmir, the remaining bigger part of the state that is an integral part of India.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces, tweeted a video of Gen Bajwa’s LoC visit.

Pakistan is blamed for perpetrating terror in Pak-occupied-Kashmir and running it through a puppet government and pushing terrorists and promoting terrorism and unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. The world recognizes its propaganda and no major power stands with Pakistan when it comes to its absurd claims on Kashmir.

In fact, there has been a growing global consensus that Pakistan is the new terror backyard of the world, harbouring and sheltering terrorists who threaten the global peace, be it Taliban and its factions or Al Qaeda or the Haqqani Network or LeT or JeM or countless others. The recent move to ban Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) front Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its chief Hafiz Saeed is most probably a drama that tells the world community how shameless Pakistan has become on this front. People say the sham crackdown on Hafiz Saeed is under the US pressure but we should not forget that the US bounty of $10 million on Saeed is in place since 2012. And then, Osama bin Laden was also hunted down and killed in Pakistan.

But continuing the tradition of Pak doublespeak on Kashmir, Gen Bajwa blamed CFVs by India as ‘efforts to divert the world attention from the so-called Indian atrocities against the Kashmiris’.

India and Pakistan consistently blame each-other for CFVs and summon each other’s High Commissions officials regularly to lodge their official protests. Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) says India committed at least 178 CFVs last year in which 19 civilians lost their lives. Hansraj Ahir, MoS Home, India stated in a written reply in the Lok Sabha that Pakistan violated cease fire some 450 times last year, with around 300 of them after India’s successful surgical strike in Pak-occupied-Kashmir in September 2016 to eliminate terror camps. According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), 28 people including 13 security forces personnel in Jammu and Kashmir lost their lives in CFVs by Pakistan in 2016.

Another part of Gen Bajwa’s rhetoric today was about Kulbhushan Yadav, the alleged Indian spy in Pakistan’s custody. He said that Kulbhushan Yadav is the ‘evidence of Indian designs to support terror in Pakistan and the region’. But ever since Yadav’s arrest in March 2016, that Indian intelligence agencies say was an act of abduction, Pakistan’s has denied every Indian request to provide consular access to him. Instead, Pakistan has been using every sort of propaganda, including Yadav’s coerced confessional video statement, to shed crocodile tears that it is a victim of Indian sponsored terror in Pakistan.

India has very clearly said that Kulbhushan Yadav was indeed an Indian Navy officer but after his retirement, the Indian government had no connection with him but Pakistan is hell-bent on proving him a serving Indian Navy officer. But in spite of all its grandstanding before the world, no one in the world community has bought the Pakistani claims. Pakistan’s propaganda in this case becomes clear from the fact that even its own Foreign Affairs Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, has accepted that there is no enough proof to convict Yadav and additional evidence needs to be collected.



The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

The Pakistani army has denied that its chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had asked his officers to emulate the values of Indian democracy. In a tweet, Major Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesman of the Pakistan armed forces, have said that the ‘news/comments quoting COAS (chief of the army staff)’ address to officers at Rawalpindi regarding book ‘Army and Nation’ is a disinformation’.

Gen Bajwa’s photograph is tagged with the tweet which further clarifies its context with an incomplete caption that reads ‘army officers should learn from Indian democracy, says Pakistan army chief Qamar J…’ – essentially a poor damage control act after Gen Bajwa’s vision for the Pakistani army was widely reported in the Indian media.

On February 13, Pakistan’s newspaper The Nation had published a piece on its new army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s vision for the Pakistan’s army as told by him during his first official address to his colleagues in December 2016.

Titled ‘Coordination, not competition, with civilians: The Army Chief’s Glasnost’, among many other things, the article had quoted the Pak army chief saying something that was so unlike Pak army that it caught immediate international attention. Gen Bajwa, in no unequivocal terms, as The Nation piece puts it, conveyed to his colleagues that the Pak army must remain within the constitutional role defined for it and must not meddle in affairs of the civilian government.

Saying a civilian Vs military dichotomy is always ‘counter-productive for a country and the army should have no ‘business in running the government’, he advised his colleagues to read “Army and Nation”, a book written by Yale University professor Steven I Wilkinson, a well received book that details how India has emerged as a successful democracy with civilian supremacy over its military establishment.

Gen Asif Ghafoor’s tweet, that is the first official denial from the Pak army on the issue, looks like a shabby, reluctant attempt to damage control. It might have been driven by this afterthought that the Pak army has always been in control in Pakistan and such views by its army chief may be seen undermining its supremacy in the society. Coming five days later of The Nation piece, the tweet clarification conveys a half-hearted attempt at best that sounds too little, too late. Had it been so alarming, we would have seen a denial the same day the article appeared, like it happened with India’s surgical strike inside Pak-occupied-Kashmir. Within hours, the Pak army had forced its political establishment to toe its line to deny any Indian surgical strike, a lame attempt to save face.