MEA rejects Pakistani foreign minister’s threat perception

MEA spokesman Ravi Kumar said that the purpose of the comments of the Pakistani Foreign Minister is to promote war mania in the region

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Jaish-e-Mohammed Balakot

New Delhi: India on Sunday rejected Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s remark that India could again attack Pakistan between 16 and 20 April as “irresponsible and meaningless”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesman Ravi Kumar said in sharp words that the purpose of the comments of the Pakistani Foreign Minister is to promote war mania in the region.

‘Pakistani minister whipping up war hysteria’

“India rejects the irresponsible and preposterous statement by the foreign minister of Pakistan with a clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region. This public gimmick appears to be a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India,” Kumar said.

“It has been made clear to Pakistan that it cannot absolve itself of responsibility of a cross border terrorist attack in India. No attempt at creating an alibi for its complicity in such attacks will succeed.”

“Pakistan needs to take credible and irreversible steps against terrorism operating from all territories under its control rather than making hysterical statements to obfuscate the core issue that bedevils our region: cross- border terrorism. Pakistan has been advised to use established diplomatic and DGMO channels to share any actionable and credible intelligence it has about imminent terror attacks,” India said.

The government further added, “India reserves the right to respond firmly and decisively to any cross border terrorist attack.”

Earlier Qureshi had said that the country has “reliable intelligence” that India is planning another attack on Pakistan between 16 and 20 April.

During a press conference in his home town Multan, Qureshi had said that the government has “reliable intelligence that India is making a new plan”.

Reason for Pakistan’s fear

Hundreds of terrorists were killed in Indian airstrikes deep inside Pakistan on 26 February. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft demolished the most widespread terrorist-training camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot early on Tuesday.

Balakot is a town in the Mansehra district of the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Thus, India, during this operation, did not merely cross the Line of Control that separates Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir; the IAF fighters crossed the international border too. This was the first time Indian fighter jets have entered the Pakistani territory since the 1971 war.