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Indian Army Chief`s reported remark draws flak in Pakistan

Last Updated: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 20:53

Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan`s foreign minister and the country`s main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Monday criticised the Indian Army chief`s reported remarks that it was capable of fighting a two-front war with Pakistan and China, saying it detracted from the war on terror.

"I am surprised at the statement of the Indian army chief. On the one hand, India talks of dialogue and than it backtracks on its own words," Online news agency quoted Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as telling reporters in Karachi.

"Gen (Deepak) Kapoor has done no service to his country or this region by giving such a statement," he added.

Qureshi said that the foreign office had given a "proper response" to the statement.

Addressing a press conference here later Monday, PML-N secretary general Mushahid Hussain sought a clarification on whether Kapoor`s remarks, reportedly made at a seminar in New Delhi last week, constituted his own views or represented the official position of the India government.

Noting that Kapoor "out of the blue, talked of launching a war of aggression against two peaceful neighbours, Pakistan and China", Hussain urged the Pakistani government to take up the issue with the UN Security Co"ncil "so that the whole world should know who stands for peace and who is the enemy of peace in the region""

"Such a statement is tantamount to distracting attention from the common enemy of terrorism," the PML-N official added.

On Dec 31, the foreign office had termed Kapoor`s statement "jingoistic", saying it "betrayed a hostile intent as well as a hegemonic and jingoistic mindset that was out of step with the realities of the"times".

"No one should ever underestimate our capability and determination to foil any nefarious designs against the security of Pakistan," foreign office spokesperson Abdul Basit said.

Speaking at a closed-door seminar in New Delhi last week, Kapoor is reported to have said that the Indian Army was ready to battle Pakistan and China at the same time.

Kapoor, the reports said, maintained that the Indian army, navy and the air force were effectively ready to simultaneously face Pakistan and China.

Neither the Indian Army nor the country`s defence ministry commented on the statements emanating from Islamabad. The ministry has neither confirmed nor denied the army chief`s comments reported in the media.


First Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 20:53

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