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Blaming us a ‘knee-jerk reaction’: Pak

Islamabad, Feb 16: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that “violence is not the policy of the government” while referring to the Thursday’s attack on CRPF personnel in Kashmir, in which 49 troopers were killed.
“Violence is not a [strategy] nor is it our government’s policy,” Qureshi said in a video shared by the official Twitter handle of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Saturday.
The video was a recording of the foreign minister speaking to Pakistan-based GeoNews in Munich, where he has been attending the Munich Security Conference.
Qureshi condemned the bombing and added that he was “a little sad” that, without investigating the incident, India had instantly levelled allegations against Pakistan in a “knee-jerk reaction”.
“You can throw the blame at us,” Qureshi said, noting that accusing Pakistan “took one minute”.
Qureshi also noted that the world had condemned the incident, “as they should, as lives had been lost”.
Qureshi added, however, that the voices coming from within India should also be heard, such as that of former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, who has said that placing blame on Pakistan was the “easy route” and that Indian authorities should examine its policies in Kashmir.
Qureshi also highlighted the human rights violations in Kashmir.
“Is a reaction to that not expected?” Qureshi asked.
Qureshi said that he had spoken to various foreign ministers, including to the Russian foreign minister, in Moscow and told them that he had been fearful there would be some “misadventure” for political purposes prior to the election [in India].
Similarly, the Pakistan Foreign Minister said that around two months ago, Pakistani officials had briefed P5 (US, China, Russia, UK and France) envoys in Islamabad that they feared something or the other taking place to “distract attention” from the Kashmir issue.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had two options now.
“One is to act like a typical politician and stage his reactions and policy while keeping an eye on the next election. Alternatively, he has the option of being a statesman who thinks about his region, his country’s poverty, the betterment of his country, as well as regional betterment.”
Qureshi said it remains to be seen which direction Modi will choose.
He said that, instead of hurling accusations at Pakistan, if India had any “actionable evidence” against the country, they should share it with them.
“Share it with us, we will investigate it with integrity and see what the reality is,” Qureshi said while assuring that they would cooperate.
He also reiterated that Pakistan wanted peace.
“Our message is of peace, not war,” Qureshi said.