General Qamar Bajwa said the Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their “just struggle to the very end”

The Pakistan Army on Tuesday rejected the Indian government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and said it would “go to any extent” to support the Kashmiri people in their struggle.

The army announced its position after its chief, General Qamar Bajwa, chaired a Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The meeting was called specifically to discuss the situation in Kashmir.

“Forum fully supported Government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir. Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through Article 370 or 35-A decades ago; ....efforts which have now been revoked by India itself,” chief military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted.

“Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations in this regard,” Bajwa was quoted as saying by Ghafoor in a tweet.

Indian home minister Amit Shah stunned Parliament on Monday with four proposals to split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave the state its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.

In response, Pakistan asked India to “halt and reverse” its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending such a unilateral step cannot change the state’s status as an “internationally recognised disputed territory”.

President Arif Alvi summoned a special joint session of Parliament on Tuesday to discuss an alleged surge in unprovoked firing and shelling on the civilian population and the alleged use of cluster bombs by Indian forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India has already denied these charges.