Feb 26, 11:29 AM EST

Pakistan army chief warns India against provocation, says Islamabad will respond

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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan's army chief has warned neighboring India that any provocations on its part would exact a "befitting response" from Islamabad.

Gen. Raheel Sharif spoke Thursday to troops near the Indian border, a scene of frequent exchanges of fire in recent months.

According to a military statement, Sharif accused India of repeated cease-fire violations along the disputed boundary between the two countries, saying such violations are a "distraction for Pakistan from its campaign against terrorism."

Pakistan launched a major offensive last June against militant hideouts in the northwest, along the border with Afghanistan, and stepped up the operations after December's deadly Taliban attack on a Peshawar school.

India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is visiting Pakistan next week, in an effort to resume talks between the two sides following a six-month break.

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