(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Pakistan will make the fullest possible response to India's actions in disputed Kashmir and the global community would be responsible for any 'catastrophic aftermath, Prime Minister Imran Khan said yesterday.
The rhetoric on the annual Defence Day remembrance of Pakistan's fighters in a 1965 war with India underscores rising tension between the nuclear-armed foes after New Delhi last month revoked the autonomy of its part of disputed Kashmir.
'I have informed the world that Pakistan does not want war, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity, Khan said in a statement on the website of state-run Radio Pakistan.
'We are prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response. Failing, the world community will be responsible for the catastrophic aftermath, he added.
This week Khan had said war between the South Asian neighbours was a risk, but Pakistan would not act first.
He has led a vigorous international diplomatic campaign seeking the support of the United States, former colonial power Britain and others to press India over the Himalayan region, but his Hindu-majority neighbour has ruled out outside involvement.
Prime Minister Khan said that the armed forces, the nation, the political leadership, the parliament, the mainstream and social media are in unison in speaking against India's move on Kashmir.
'The Defence Day of Pakistan stands out in the history of Pakistan as a symbol of enduring display of unity, indomitable courage and unmatched sacrifices by our gallant soldiers, he said. 'I am proud that in addition to being fully modernised, our armed forces are imbued with the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice and are capable of defeating any internal and external adventurism.
'We will continue raising their just struggle for freedom at all levels and platforms, Khan said.
'I salute the gallant sons of soil who laid down their lives while defending Pakistan and pay respect to their families for unparalleled sacrifices they rendered for our tomorrow, he added.
Pakistan will never abandon Kashmir, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa told a defence function in Rawalpindi.
'We are ready to give sacrifice for our Kashmiri brothers, will fulfil our duty till last bullet, last soldiers and last breath, he said in a televised speech. 'And we are prepared to go till any extent.
Bajwa said: 'Kashmir is Pakistan's jugular vein and we will never abandon our Kashmiri brethren.
Calling on the international community to play its part, General Bajwa said Pakistan gives the message of peace and today there is an atmosphere of peace in the country.
'Pakistan has fulfilled its responsibilities in the war on terrorism and now the responsibility rests with the rest of the world to play its part, he added.
'A peaceful and strong Pakistan is our destination and we are steadfastly moving towards that end, Bajwa said, adding the country's armed forces ensured the security of the motherland by rendering sacrifices both in the conventional war and the fight against terrorism.
In his special message on Defence Day, President Dr Arif Alvi stated: 'Let me reiterate Pakistan's solidarity with the Kashmiris and renewed the resolve that Islamabad will continue to support their right to self-determination.
India flooded the Kashmir valley with troops, restricted movements and cut off communication as Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew special rights for Kashmir on August 5.
Indian-administered Kashmir lost its right to frame its own laws and non-residents were allowed to buy property there in changes the government said would drive development and pull the region into line with the rest of the nation.
The neighbours have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.