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Pakistan Army chief discusses Kashmir issue with top generals

ISLAMABAD

After Pakistan’s Foreign Minister angered India with two phone calls to Kashmiri separatist leaders, the country’s Army chief on Monday chaired a Corps Commanders conference and discussed the Kashmir issue along with the situation at the Line of Control.

Gen Qamar Bajwa’s provocative move on the eve of the Kashmir Day came days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed the Kashmir issue with hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Following the foreign minister’s phone calls, India summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood and categorically told him that Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with Mirwaiz was a “brazen attempt” to subvert India’s unity and violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Qureshi’s telephonic conversation with a separatist leader, India said, reflected the duplicity in Pakistani leadership’s approach on ties with India.

India has always maintained that the Kashmir issue is bilateral and there can be no third party intervention in the matter. New Delhi has also emphasised that whatever happens in Jammu and Kashmir is India’s internal matter and Pakistan should stop interfering in it.

Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists observe ‘Kashmir Day’ on February 5 every year to observe the country’s support to the cause of an independent Kashmir. It is a national holiday in Pakistan.

During a meeting in Rawalpindi to review the internal security situation and preparedness along the LoC, Bajwa “expressed solidarity with resilient Kashmiri brethren on the eve of Kashmir Day”, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.

“The forum discussed situation along Line of Control and Working Boundary with reference to continued cease fire violations,” he said.

(PTI)

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