The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reiterated that Pakistan shall surely respond to any aggression in self defence.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), The Army Chief made these remarks when he held telephonic talks with the Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph L. Votel, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) UK General Sir Nick Carter, the CDF Australia General Angus Campbell, the US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones, the UK Ambassador to Pakistan Thomas Drew and the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing.

DG ISPR Major-General Asif Ghafoor said the "prevailing standoff between Pakistan and India and its impact on peace and stability in the region and beyond" was discussed in the telephonic communication.

"Pak shall surely respond to any aggression in self defence," the Chief of Army Staff was quoted as saying.

India and Pakistan are amidst their biggest standoff in many years, with the United States and other global powers mediating to de-escalate tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbouring countries.

The army chief's statement came as Pakistan was set to release captured Indian air force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman as a gesture of peace towards New Delhi and a de-escalation effort in favour of regional peace.