New Delhi: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday warned Pakistan amid increasing hostilities between the two countries over India’s revocation of special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

Speaking to news agency ANI, General Rawat said that if Pakistan wanted to activate the Line of Control (LoC), it was completely its choice as everybody does a precautionary deployment. This was in response to reports of Pakistan increasing its presence on the LoC.

Further, when questioned on India’s defence preparedness, he said that the three services were always prepared. He added that the armed forces were prepared for any situation.

In a healing touch for the people of Kashmir, the General expressed optimism and said that the Army is still hopeful to have the kind of bonhomie with the people that it had in the 1970s and the 80s. He said, “We were deployed there, and we used to meet without guns, and if everything goes well, we will again meet without guns.”

Pakistan has initiated a series of ‘retaliatory steps’ in the aftermath of India’s historic decision to do away with Article 370 of its Constitution. Besides having launched a propaganda war, the Imran Khan government has stopped all cross-border services between the two sides. It has also downgraded bilateral ties with India, expelled India’s envoy to Pakistan and recalled its own envoy from New Delhi.

The United Nations (UN), US and Russia, however, have given Islamabad a ‘cold shoulder’ over its complaints against India’s move.

There have also been intermittent clashes between the armies of the two countries. In early August, amid India’s deploying of more Central troops in the Valley, the Indian Army had claimed to have foiled a Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) attack and killed several intruders. The claim, however, was rejected by Pakistan.