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Friday July 19, 2024

Pakistan warns India of befitting reply to any act of aggression

Foreign Office Spokesperson told that it is India’s old habit that instead of solving its problems, it accuses Pakistan

By Mariana Baabar
April 07, 2024
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch can be seen briefing the media in Islamabad. — Screengrab/Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad/File
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch can be seen briefing the media in Islamabad. — Screengrab/Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Saturday strongly denounced the provocative remarks made by the Indian defence minister during a recent televised interview, in response to a media revelation regarding India’s clandestine operations in Pakistan, and asked the international community to hold it responsible for such crimes.

“Pakistan stands resolute in its intent and ability to safeguard its sovereignty against any act of aggression, as demonstrated by its robust response to India’s reckless incursion in February 2019, which laid bare India’s hollow claims of military superiority,” reminded the Foreign Office on Saturday.

“India’s ruling dispensation habitually resorts to hateful rhetoric to fuel hyper-nationalistic sentiments, unapologetically exploiting such discourse for electoral gains. Such myopic and irresponsible behaviour not only undermines regional peace but also impedes the prospects of constructive engagement in the long term,” responded the FO.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in an interview with broadcaster CNN News18, said India will enter Pakistan to kill anyone who escapes over the border after trying to carry out terrorist activities in the country.

Shrugging aside Singh’s bravado, the Foreign Office reminded India that on January 25, 2024, Pakistan provided irrefutable evidence, elucidating India’s campaign of extrajudicial and transnational assassinations on the Pakistani soil.

“India’s assertion of its preparedness to extra-judicially execute more civilians, arbitrarily pronounced as ‘terrorists’, inside Pakistan constitutes a clear admission of culpability. It is imperative for the international community to hold India accountable for its heinous and illegal actions,” the FO added.

Remarks of the Indian defence minister came after The Guardian’s investigative report, published on Thursday, which said at least 20 individuals had been murdered in Pakistan since 2020 at the behest of Indian intelligence operatives. India’s Ministry of External Affairs had denied the allegations. Pakistan had initially refused to comment on The Guardian’s report but decided to reply to Rajnath Singh’s boasting of killings inside Pakistan.

Azaz Syed adds: Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch told the reporter that it is India’s old habit that instead of solving its problems, it accuses Pakistan and threatens and flaunts its politics. She said now India has admitted to extrajudicial killings in Pakistan, and soon it would admit to such acts in other countries as well.

In response to a question, the Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan had already raised India’s illegal actions in the United Nations.

“Pakistan has always demonstrated its commitment to peace in the region. However, our desire for peace should not be misconstrued. History attests to Pakistan’s firm resolve and ability to protect and defend itself,” the FO statement read.

In response to Rajnath Singh’s statement, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif Saturday advised India to be “careful” in its rhetoric.

Talking to the reporter, he said Singh was making a pompous statement because of the election campaign, but India should not commit such an action to gain popularity in the election over which it had to face consequences.

Kh Asif reminded India of what had happened a few years ago [in 2019], when India carried out a strike inside Pakistan. “We struck down an Indian jet and caught and returned their pilot in charity. If they again attempt such a misadventure, they will be responded in the same manner,” he warned.

The defence minister said India did not have the courage to directly attack Pakistan. India patronised terrorists in Pakistan with the help of neighbouring countries, he added.