Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since 1947, when the two countries gained freedom from British colonial rule. Both govern part of the region, but claim it in full.

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, in his first press briefing in the role, said that forces are ready to take appropriate action to gain control over the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The statement came five months after India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar said that he expected India to gain physical control over the Pakistan-administered part of the Kashmir region one day.

“If Parliament wants it... When we get orders to that effect, we'll take appropriate action”, Indian Army Chief Naravane replied to the media in New Delhi on Saturday.

Earlier, in October 2019, the then army and now the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said that territory under Pakistani jurisdiction “is not controlled by the Pakistani establishment.''

The Army chief said that the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the two nuclear-armed nations is a very active. “Intelligence alerts are received on daily basis and they are looked into very seriously”, Naravane said.

Relations between India and Pakistan have traditionally been tense over competing claims to parts of the Kashmir region since the countries gained independence from the British Empire in 1947.

The recent tension between India and Pakistan ignited after New Delhi revoked the seven decades old temporary special status accorded to Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir state and later bifurcated it into two federally administered territories in August 2019. Islamabad termed the move as a violation of a bilateral treaty, the 1972 Simla Agreement, and the UN Convention, as well.