MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan has “reliable intelligence” that India is preparing for another act of aggression against the country.
Addressing a news conference in Multan, Qureshi said there is “reliable intelligence that India is readying for another act of aggression” against Pakistan.
“A [fresh] act of aggression by India against Pakistan is likely between April 16 and 20. According to the reliable intelligence we have right now, a new Pulwama-like incident can be [planned] by India to increase diplomatic pressure on Pakistan and to justify military action against Pakistan,” he said.
“After consultation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, we have decided to share this information with the people of Pakistan as well as the international community immediately. It is our policy to keep the nation informed,” the minister added.
“Fear of war has not yet dissipated,” Qureshi said, as he called on the United Nations and the international community to play their role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
“Pakistan has apprised all five permanent member states of the United Nations Security Council [China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States] of India’s attempts to disrupt peace,” he shared.
“The international community must take notice of India’s irresponsible behaviour. The world must not stay silent, or peace and stability in South Asia could suffer.”
Qureshi said Pakistan is “trying sincerely to resolve” matters and is again inviting India for dialogue in the interests of the two countries and the region.
“Pakistan is again inviting India for dialogue. for [peace] and economic prosperity of both the countries,” the minister offered.
He reiterated the measures taken by Pakistan to defuse the tensions with India arising in the aftermath of the Pulwama suicide bombing on February 14, in which more than 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed.
“Pakistan’s decision to release captured Indian Air Force pilot was a gesture of peace [towards India],” he said, adding that the country has also announced to release 360 Indian prisoners this month.
He further said the US defence officials had confirmed that no Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was missing after a count, referring to a recent report by Foreign Policy magazine that debunked India’s claim that it downed an F-16 jet in the aerial dogfight with Pakistan.
“Pakistan is ready to provide information to India,” he offered once again.
“But if India attempts another aggression against Pakistan, then Pakistan reserves the right to defend,” he warned.
Qureshi called on the nation to stay united in the face of Indian aggression, and also asked the opposition to present a united front on matters pertaining to the national interests.
Tensions soared between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 attack in Pulwama, occupied Kashmir.
India piled the blame for Pulwama bombing on Pakistan without presenting any proof. The allegations were strongly refuted by Pakistan.
In response, India said it carried out on February 26 air strikes on what it called a militant training camp at Balakot inside Pakistan.
The Indian government was quick to take credit for a “successful” airstrike and put the death toll to over 300. Pakistani officials, as well as the locals, rejected the claims, inviting local and international media to visit the site of the so-called attack where around a dozen trees were the only “casualty”.
The Pakistan Air Force, in retaliatory action, downed two Indian aircraft the next day, capturing Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan who was then released as a peace gesture by Pakistan.