ISLAMABAD - Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Sunday termed violence in occupied Kashmir by Indian forces a “state-sponsored terrorism”.

“The violence perpetuated by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir is a state-sponsored terrorism by all definitions,” the army chief said during his visit to Haji Pir Sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC), according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The COAS said India had unleashed aggression and its frustration on the people of India-held Kashmir as well as Pakistani villages along the LoC and the Working Boundary.

“This violence riles up passions on this side of the LoC, as the people of Pakistan cannot remain indifferent to the barbaric treatment meted out to defenceless Kashmiris including women and children,” he said.

Gen Bajwa said that the Kashmiris have the right to live without fear and repression.

“We will always stand by their rightful political struggle for the right to self-determination and recourse to basic human rights,” he said.

The ISPR said that the army chief was also given a briefing about the operational preparedness of army along the LoC and he expressed his satisfaction over the vigilance.

He, however, made it clear that the Pakistan Army would keep its response purely in the military domain in accordance with its values.

He urged the soldiers to give a befitting reply to any Indian aggression on the border. “But keep the military ethics in mind even during the fight,” he told the soldiers.

Earlier, upon his arrival, the army chief was received by Commander Rawalpindi Corps Lt-Gen Nadeem Raza and General Officer Commanding Murree.

It was the fourth visit of the COAS to the heavily militarised LoC after taking over the reins of the Pakistan Army.

During his previous visit to the LoC in March, the army chief had rejected the Indian propaganda about the presence of alleged rogue elements along the unmarked dividing line in Kashmir.

“The Indian propaganda regarding the presence of miscreants along the LoC is aimed at spreading unrest in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, but it will never succeed,” he had said during a visit to the Neelum Valley earlier.

“The people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are fully aware of Indian atrocities in held Kashmir as well as Indian agendas,” Gen Bajwa had said.

Indian security forces have been committing worst kind of crimes over the past few months against the innocent Kashmiris by employing third rate tactics to quell the peaceful struggle of people of Indian occupied Kashmir for their right to self-determination.

Pakistan is supporting the Kashmiris politically and diplomatically by drawing the attention of the world community to human rights violations and repression being perpetrated by the Indian security forces in the Held Kashmir.