Pak-based militants coercing innocent Kashmiris into following Azaadi narrative: Army chief

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Srinagar: Army chief General MM Naravane has said, “Pakistan is still following its own myopic and limited agenda of pushing terrorists inside India,” and unless Pakistan gives up its policy of “state-sponsored terrorism”, India will continue to respond appropriately.

Last week, five government forces’ personnel, including a Colonel and a Major, were killed by militants during a gunfight in Handwara, north Kashmir. “India is proud of five security personnel who laid down lives saving civilians from terrorists at Handwara,” he told PTI. “The army will give proportionate response to all acts of infringement of ceasefire and support to terrorism.”

“Pakistan claims to be a friend of Kashmiris, [I] want to ask what sort of friend resorts to killing and spreads terror,” he said. “Pakistan backed terrorists are targeting innocent civilians in Kashmir to coerce them into following their Azadi narrative.”

He further alleged that the “infiltration attempts show that Pakistan is not interested in battling COVID-19”. “Pakistan has sought to blindside global community by making superficial changes.”

He also conveyed condolences to the Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police. “Commanding Officer Col Ashutosh Sharma led from front and ensured there was no collateral damage during operation,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders paid tribute to the killed forces’ personnel.

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