Pakistan slams India’s ‘confrontational attitude’

''Can’t act against Hafiz Saeed because no case against him’

PTI
Islamabad, Publish Date: Jan 18 2018 11:15PM | Updated Date: Jan 18 2018 11:15PM
Pakistan slams India’s ‘confrontational attitude’

Pakistan on Thursday said that India's confrontational attitude may lead to a “strategic miscalculation” and warned of “befitting response to any misadventure” following statements by the Indian army chief.

Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat last week said that the force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border if the government asked them to.

“Such irresponsible and provocative statements by the Indian army chief are regrettable and reflect the jingoistic mindset of India, which can further exacerbate the already vitiated environment,” Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.

He said that Pakistan has no desire to escalate the situation and has reacted with maximum restraint.

“The Indian confrontational attitude is a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation. Pakistan is fully capable of giving a befitting response to any misadventure,” Faisal said.

“India’s mistaken belief and irresponsible rhetoric are fraught with unforeseen dangers in an already volatile strategic environment,” he said.

He also claimed that the situation on the Line of Control has been deteriorating due to use of heavy weapons by India.

“The situation on the LoC and the Working Boundary is deteriorating with each passing day. Heavy weapons, including Mortars, are frequently being used by the Indian forces on the Pakistani side of the LoC and the working boundary,” he said.

He said that LoC firings were in clear violation of the 2003 ceasefire arrangement.

He alleged that India deliberately escalated tensions at the LoC and the working boundary in order to try to divert the attention of the international community from Kashmir.

Faisal said that Pakistan had shared concerns on Kashmir with the international community and was also engaged with the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

India maintains that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

To a question about reports that Al-Qaeda has set up a new branch for its activities in the sub-continent and also appointed an Indian national Asim Umar as its chief, Faisal said that it indicated an extension of the AQ network in India and the likelihood of increased Indian recruitment.

He also alleged that India had developed a nexus with militant groups in Afghanistan and was using them to orchestrate terrorist attacks in Pakistan. ‘WON’T ACT AGAINST HAFIZ SAEED SAHIB’

Pakistan will not act against Hafiz Saeed 'sahib' as there is no case registered against him in the country, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said.

Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November.

Abbasi, during an interview to Geo TV on Tuesday, referred to Saeed as 'sahib' or 'sir'.

"There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case can there be action," Abbasi said when asked why there was no action against Saeed.

After his release from house arrest, Saeed had confirmed that the JuD will contest the 2018 general elections under the banner of the Milli Muslim League, which is yet to be registered with the Election Commission.

When asked why the Pakistan government did not let Saeed's party go mainstream, Abbasi claimed that it was not the government’s decision and that the Election Commission acts according to its own rules.

He also said there was no danger of a war with India and both countries should ensure there is no escalation of the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

"I don’t think there is a danger of war, at least from our side, it is not there. Pakistan has never taken unilateral action, we have always demonstrated responsibility," Abbasi said.

"If they believe on the other side there will be some political benefits and they keep making statements, as their military leadership has done, this has never been good for peace," he said.

Responding to a question on Army chief General Bipin Rawat's remarks about calling Pakistan’s "nuclear bluff", Abbasi said: "The Indian Army chief will not speak in favour of us. It is a fact that Pakistan has nuclear capability and we have demonstrated it."

He said India must understand that when there are violations at the LoC, there would be retaliation. PTI