Islamabad: Stepping up its anti-India rant, both the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan on Thursday warned that its armed forces were capable of teaching India "a lesson" if the border tension escalates even as it moved to the United Nations, a day after Pakistan said the Indian Army killed three of its soldiers.
Just days ahead of his retirement, outgoing Army chief General Raheel Sharif said that India had staged a "drama" of surgical strikes. "If India conducts a surgical strike we will give such a lesson that will be taught in Indian Army courses," according to an ISPR statement.
“India will be teaching its children about Pakistan’s surgical strike if the latter took such measures. Pakistani troops are capable of teaching Indian forces a lesson,” he was quoted as saying by Express News.
The comments from the army chief, who is on his farewell tour, came a day after Pakistan claimed that 13 people, including three soldiers, were killed in Indian firing along the Line of Control.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also convened a high-level meeting to review the situation at the Line of Control, as Pakistan's Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah joined in hitting out at India.
"We cannot tolerate deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, particularly children and women, the ambulances and the civilian transport," Nawaz Sharif was quoted as saying in a statement from the Prime Ministers House.
"Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite the continuing ceasefire violations from the Indian side," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister called upon the international community to play its active role in defusing tension between the two nations, "which has been deliberately escalated by the Indian side", said the statement.
The meeting concluded that India was trying to divert the attention of the international community "from the grave human rights violations, massacres and atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces" in Kashmir, it said.
In a related development, Pakistan's Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said the country's armed forces were "not worried about India at all".
Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) in Karachi, the chief of air staff also called on India to resolve the Kashmir issue, saying: "They should speak on matters of principle and our ties will improve."
Meanwhile, Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah also joined the other two military chiefs and said that the response that Pakistan Navy gave to India (when it chased an Indian Submarine last week) has satisfied the public. "I am also satisfied." The Indian Navy had rubbished Pakistan’s claims on the matter.
Firing exchanges and a bitter diplomatic war between the two neighbours have escalated after the September 18 killing of 19 Indian soldiers in a terror attack on an army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has also asked the UN to act before the situation snowballs into a "full-fledged crisis".
Pakistan's ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi met the Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson and the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary General Edmond Mulet during which she alleged that the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) posed a "grave threat to international peace and security".
Lodhi, according to a statement issued by the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN, in her meeting with UN officials alleged that escalating tensions on the LoC "was a deliberate attempt" by India to "divert the attention of the international community from the gross human right violations being committed" by it in Kashmir.
Pakistan Army had on Wednesday said seven persons, including three of its soldiers, were killed in an exchange of fire with Indian troops on the LoC.
The clash occurred a day after India warned of retribution after losing three soldiers in Pakistan firing and after Pakistan yesterday rejected as "false" and "baseless" the charges that the body of an Indian soldier was mutilated by Pakistani soldiers in a cross LoC-attack.