Indian Army chief's remark 'irresponsible': Pak

Islamabad: Pakistan has rejected India's new Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane's statement that New Delhi reserves the right to "preemptively strike" across the Line of Control (LoC), terming his remarks as "irresponsible". In an exclusive interview to PTI barely hours after taking charge of the 1.3-million strong force, Army Chief Gen Naravane said India reserves the right to "preemptively strike" at sources of terror. He asserted that a "new normal" in the country's response mechanism to acts of cross-border terrorism has already been "emphatically" displayed.

"If Pakistan does not stop its policy of state-sponsored terrorism, we reserve the right to preemptively strike at the sources of terror threat and this intent has adequately been demonstrated in our response during surgical strikes and Balakot operation," Gen Naravane said.

Reacting to Gen Naravane's remarks, the Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement on Wednesday said, "We reject the new Indian Army Chief's irresponsible statement regarding 'pre-emptive strikes' across the LoC" inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"There should be no doubt about Pakistan's resolve and readiness to thwart against any aggressive Indian move", inside its territory or PoK, it said.

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