Lethpora attack: Pak will act on ‘actionable’ evidence if shared by India: Imran
Islamabad, Feb 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday vowed to take action if India shares any evidence on last week’s suicide blast targeting paramilitary troopers in Kashmir’s Pulwama area.
While offering cooperation and another chance at a dialogue over the Kashmir issue, the Pakistan premier also warned India against any act of aggression, saying Pakistan will not hesitate in retaliating to a provocation.
However, he made it clear that he hopes better sense will prevail.
In a video message, Imran Khan said he had wanted to respond to the attack right away because Delhi had accused Pakistan of having a hand in it.”But we had a very important visit from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, we had an investment conference happening that we had been preparing for a long time,” he explained. “Therefore I decided not to respond then, because the attention would have been diverted away from the visit and onto this issue.”
“This is why I am responding, now that the crown prince has left. And this is for the Indian government,” he said.
“First of all, you accused Pakistan. [There was] no evidence. You never thought, ‘What would be in it for Pakistan?’,” he said. “Would a fool even do such a thing to sabotage his own conference? And even if he [the crown prince] wasn’t visiting, what benefit would Pakistan get from it?”
“Why would Pakistan at this stage, when it is moving towards stability – we have fought a war against terrorism for 15 years, 70,000 Pakistanis lost their lives, terrorism is receding, peace and stability are returning – what benefit would we get from it?” he asked.
“You want to remain stuck in the past, and each time an incident happens in Kashmir, you want to hold Pakistan responsible and – instead of trying to resolve the Kashmir issue, starting a dialogue or moving forward – make Islamabad your whipping boy again and again,” the Pakistan prime minister said, addressing Delhi.
“I am telling you clearly, this is Naya Pakistan. It is a new mindset, a new way of thinking. We believe that it is in our interest that our soil is not used for carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries, nor do we want outsiders to come and carry out terror attacks here. We desire stability,” he asserted.
“Today, I would like to make the Indian government an offer. Any sort of investigation you wish carried out regarding this incident about the involvement of any Pakistani, we are ready. If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved, give it to us. I guarantee you we will take action. Not because we are under pressure, but because they are acting as enemies of Pakistan.”
“If someone is using Pakistan’s soil [to carry out terror attacks elsewhere], it is enmity with us. It is against our interests.”
Imran added that whenever Pakistan tries to initiate dialogue with India, Delhi’s precondition is that terrorism must be talked about.
“We are ready to talk about terrorism. Terrorism is a regional issue […] we want terrorism in the region to end,” he stated. “Pakistan has been the worst affected by terrorism […] Therefore, we are ready to talk with you.”
“In India there needs to be a new way of thinking, some introspection, that what is the reason these Kashmiri youths have gotten to the point where they have no fear of death anymore? There must be some reason,” he said.
“Do you think that this one-dimensional oppression, cruelty, using military to cause issues – if they haven’t been successful till today, do you think they will be successful in the future?” he asked.
“If today in Afghanistan, after 17 years, the entire world has accepted that there is no military solution and that the issue can only be resolved through dialogue, shouldn’t there be discussion about this in India?” Imran asked.
“We’re hearing voices of the media, the people, the politicians from India saying that ‘Pakistan should be taught a lesson…we should exact revenge from Pakistan…we should retaliate with a surgical strike’. First of all, which type of country or law allows any other country or person to be the judge, jury or executioner of such situations? In which realm of justice does this fall into?” he asked, via the televised video.
“Second of all, this is the year when India will undergo elections. We understand that during elections, this will be a big boost for you if Pakistan is taught a lesson. However, if you think you can proclaim war on Pakistan, Pakistan will not think of retaliating, it will retaliate,” he asserted.
“Pakistan will not see any other option in such a case except to retaliate, and after that, the direction towards which talks will go is self-explanatory. We all know starting a war is easy, it’s in a person’s hands- but not ending it,” he said.
“The Almighty knows what will happen once it occurs. Therefore, I am hopeful that a better sense will prevail. We will use our logic. The problem that currently stays between us will be solved through dialogue just like in Afghanistan,” Imran added.
Asks Mehbooba:‘What about Pathankot dossier?’
Srinagar, Feb 19: Former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief, Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday reacted to the Pakistan Prime Minister’s video message assuring India that he will act on any “actionable evidence” by Delhi on last week’s Pulwama attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.
“Disagree. Pathankot dossier was given to them but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators. Time to walk the talk. But Pak PM deserves a chance since he’s recently taken over. Of course the war rhetoric has more to do with the impending elections than anything else,” the PDP chief tweeted.
Her remarks came shortly after Imran Khan, in a nationally televised video message, said that Pakistan will act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack if “actionable intelligence” was provided to it by India.
Responding to India’s allegations that Pakistan had a hand in the Pulwama attack, Imran said his country wants “stability in the region”. “If India has evidence or actionable intelligence, they should give it to us and we will take action,” he assured.
“If India retaliates, we will not think and retaliate back. It is easy to start a war but difficult to end it,” he added.