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February 13, 2018

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Pakistan warns India against cross-border attacks

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Monday warned India against cross-border attacks after New Delhi blamed Pakistan for an attack on a military camp in which soldiers and their families were targeted.

The fresh warning came after Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday said Pakistan will pay for the alleged attack at an Indian Army base in Jammu region which claimed six lives.

“It is a well-established pattern that Indian officials begin making irresponsible statements and levelling unfounded allegations even before any proper investigation in any incident has been initiated,” spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal said while talking to The News.

He said India was making these allegations to divert attention from its brutality in trying to control the armed revolt in the Occupied Kashmir and warned against any retaliatory measures across the Line of Control.

“We hope that the international community would urge India to stop the untold atrocities and gross violations of human rights in IoK, refrain from any misadventure across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, and call for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan was ready for talks with India but this should be ‘dialogue with dignity’ and instead of talks offer coming from Srinagar it is the Modi government in New Delhi to come forward for a dialogue.

“Pakistan has never shied away from dialogue but we insist that these bilateral talks should be a dialogue with dignity. We are open to talks and dialogue with India on all matters, principally on the core issue of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

Kashmir must be resolved under relevant UNSC resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Talks should also include Siachen, Sir Creek and even terrorism,” Faisal said when The News sought his comments on Chief Minister of IoK Mehbooba Mufti who reached out to Pakistan and called for dialogue to "end bloodshed".

Jammu this time appeared to be the new theatre for militancy, as army camps came under attack and Ms Mehbooba is now under greater pressure. He said terrorism was part of the joint statement on December 9, 2015 when it was decided to restart the composite dialogue.

According to the joint statement, all issues including Kashmir, Sir Creek, terrorism and anti-narcotic efforts will be discussed in the comprehensive dialogue. “Both sides, accordingly, agreed to a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue and directed the foreign secretaries to work out modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue including peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial Cooperation, counterterrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people to people exchanges and religious tourism,” the statement had stated.

"There is no solution other than dialogue," the chief minister told the media in Srinagar. Ms Mufti appears to have come to her senses after some lethal terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir at the Sunjuwan army camp which have been blamed on Pakistan.

Denying these allegations, the spokesman responded, “It is a well-established pattern that Indian officials begin making irresponsible statements and levelling unfounded allegations, even before any proper investigation in any incident has been initiated.

A particular segment in the Indian media runs with their innuendos to malign Pakistan and whips up public frenzy. We are confident that the world community would take due cognizance of India's smear campaign against Pakistan, and the deliberate creation of war hysteria. “

Ms Mehbooba made a strong pitch and is looking towards New Delhi, which does not need to budge, as it is only Kashmiris that are being killed. "If we don't talk about talks with Pakistan, then who will? People from Bihar won't!" Ms Mufti said in Srinagar on Monday.”

India, she said, has fought and won all wars against Pakistan. "But even now, there is no solution other than dialogue. How long will our jawans and civilians keep dying," she asked. According to reports from the Kashmir media, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned the efficacy of the BJP-led NDA government's policy on Kashmir and blamed it for the increasing terror attacks in the Valley.

"The most disturbing fact is that attacks are now taking place in Jammu which had always been safe. Kashmir was unsafe and now this government has made Jammu unsafe too. If the Centre is not being able to provide them with security, it means there is some fault with their policies," Azad told reporters.

Ms Mehbooba also appeared awaken to Pakistan bashing when saner elements in India tried to talk peace. She criticised the news media while reaching out to Pakistan.

"Unfortunately, some media houses have created an atmosphere that if we talk of dialogue (with Pakistan) then we are labeled anti-national," she said. "Wonder what some media houses would have called Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) if he took bus to Lahore in today's time and talked of dialogue," she added. For its part, the FO spokesman says there is no shying away.

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