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Pakistan army chief warns against ‘aggression’ amid Kashmir tensions

October 18, 2014 | By

Islamabad, Pakistan: Media reports say that Pakistan’s powerful army chief vowed on Saturday (Oct. 17) to thwart any “aggression” against the country, in a thinly-veiled warning to arch rival India after a spate of deadly cross-border firing incidents in the disputed Kashmir region.

At least 20 civilians have been killed and thousands on both sides of the de facto border have fled their homes since 6 October, which marked the beginning of some of the worst frontier shelling in years.

Pak army chief also raised Kashmir issue and said that the people of Kashmir should be allowed to decide their fate in the light of UN resolutions.

He was addressing a passing-out parade at the Military Academy in Kakul.

Pakistan's Lieutenant-General Raheel Sharif

Pakistan’s Lieutenant-General Raheel Sharif

He said Pakistan desires regional stability and relationship based on equality and mutual respect. Gen Sharif said the resolution of Kashmir issue was imperative for establishment of sustainable peace in the region.

“We persistently seek peace in the region and beyond,” Sharif said while addressing a parade at a military academy near Islamabad. But “lasting peace in the region will only come about with the fair and just resolution of Kashmir issue,” he added.

Pakistan’s military on Tuesday (Oct. 14) said it had voiced concern to India at continued firing across the Kashmir frontier and in Punjab province when senior officials from both sides spoke via a special hotline.

Clashes occur regularly along the disputed border known as Line of Control (LOC) as well as along the frontier dividing Indian Kashmir from Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Kashmir has been a sore point in India-Pakistan relations ever since independence from Britain in 1947, with each country controlling part of the scenic mountain territory but claiming all of it.

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