The outgoing Pakstan army spokesperson – Asif Ghafoor said on Thursday that the operational preparedness of Pakistan Army had prevented a catastrophic war between nuclear-armed neighbours, India and Pakistan.
“Pakistan and India were on the brink of war in February 2019, but the operational preparedness of Pakistan’s armed forces and their effective response [to Indian aggression] paved the way for peace,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told defence correspondents of Pakistani media outlets during a farewell on Thursday.
With regard to the recent comments made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he claimed that Indian forces were now capable of making Pakistan “bite the dust” in less than 10 days, Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Army “will always surprise the Indian armed forces”.
“We have said this before, and I am saying it again: You may start a war, but we will be the ones to end it.” He said that the Indian government and leadership are once more making “irresponsible statements”.
“How can an army which could not defeat 8 million Kashmiris in the past 71 years, defeat 207 million Pakistanis?” he asked. Maj Gen Ghafoor said there was “no victory in war; humanity always loses”. “We will give a befitting response if war is imposed upon us,” he added.
Ghafoor also said that the Pakistani leadership had responded to the threat of war in a commendable manner and that Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “superior military strategy” had saved South Asia from a major conflict.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said that Pakistan desires peace in the region and the Indian civil and military leadership should also recognise its importance. He called on India to end the ‘oppression’ of citizens in occupied Kashmir.