Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing the nation on Tuesday, warned India of retaliation in the event of any aggressive military measures by New Delhi following Indian allegations of Islamabad’s involvement in the Pulwama attack.
“Pakistan will not think about retaliation, we will retaliate. You will leave us with no other option,” said the premier as he referred to growing voices in the Indian government and media asking for punitive military measures against Islamabad.
The prime minister further implored that military action is never the solution to such a conflict. “Starting a war is in our hands, it is easy. But ending a war, that is not in our hands and no one knows what will happen.”
Elaborating further, the prime minister said the country had nothing to gain from carrying out the attack, given that the government was planning and hosting the royal visit.
“It is in our country’s interest that no one uses Pakistan to carry out terrorist attacks. What would Pakistan gain from this, when we are working towards a stable country?”, he asked.
Offer of cooperation
Offering India an olive branch, the premier asked New Delhi to share any evidence regarding allegations that the attack was planned and executed from Pakistan.
“If you have evidence that someone from Pakistan is involved, we will take action because if someone is using our soil to carry such attacks out, they are against Pakistan. We don’t want any terrorism in the region.”
Reiterating Islamabad’s resolve for peace in the region, he reminded his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Pakistan has received the brunt of global terrorism and the country has sacrificed more than 70,000 lives in order to achieve the peace and has been at the forefront of the global war on terror.
“Pakistan is a country that has suffered the most from terrorism, and we are willing to have a dialogue with India to eradicate terrorism in the region.”
PM Imran also asked India to introspect and ask itself why Kashmiri youth has reached a point where they are not afraid to die. “One-dimensional oppression of people will never be successful,” said the cricketer turned politician as he referred to New Delhi’s policy of oppression in the held valley.
At least 44 Indian security personnel in Indian-occupied Kashmir were killed in a car bomb attack on a security convoy on which was the worst in decades of insurgency in the held territory.
The responsibility of the deadly attack was reportedly claimed by the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad. India, however, took no time in pointing a finger at Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country would give a ‘strong reply’ to those behind the Kashmir attack as New Delhi withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status given to Pakistan.
Islamabad has strongly rejected the Indian allegations because these were made within a short time from the attack and without carrying out any investigations.