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Pakistan’s Defense Minister hits back at India

Defence Minister
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On February 14, 2018, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir while making a policy statement in the Senate on defense policy said, “India had not only wasted the opportunity for normalization of ties with Pakistan, but was also restricting space for peace lobby through its aggressive anti-Pakistan rhetoric.” He added that India’s current government’s continuous hostile, anti-Pakistan stance has drastically reduced the space for any advocate of peace. 

On Monday, India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman threatened, “Pakistan will have to pay for Saturday’s militant attack. Intelligence inputs show that terrorists were controlled by their handlers from across border. Evidence is being scrutinized by NIA (National Intelligence Agency).

India’s pursuit development of a Ballistic Missile Defence System,  its military buildup, technological advancements, its defense agreements with great powers  are  indications of India’s aggressive and hegemonic aspirations in South Asia which threatens region’s stability.

Pakistan is expanding the arch of terror to areas south of Pir Panjal and resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration.” Khurram Dastigir was responding to India’s allegations holding Pakistan responsible for the militant attack on February 10 on a military camp in Sunjuwan in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) in which six soldiers and a civilian died.

On Tuesday Khurram Dastigir said, “Pakistan will pay [back] India in its own coin in case of any misadventure”. He went on add, “An aggressive Pakistan-centric doctrine and arrayed forces under a belligerent regime leading to possible strategic miscalculation by India will seriously impact the strategic stability in South Asia.”

Read more: Pakistan will have to pay for Kashmir attack: India

He reminded India that “Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan.” Given that “Living evidence in person of Kulbhushan Jadhav is in front of the world,” he added. He also reminded India that Pakistan is still waiting for justice to be done on the 42 Pakistanis that were murdered on the Samjhota Express in 2007.

The BJP has used it the past year to win state elections throughout the country, last seen in the Gujarat elections in which Congress party leaders were even described as being unpatriotic for meeting the ex-foreign minister, Kasuri.

On Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign office had also issued a statement saying that Indian media was whipping up war hysteria needlessly. The Foreign office issued release stated: “A particular section in the Indian media runs with their innuendos to malign Pakistan and whips up public frenzy. We are confident that the world community would take due cognisance of India’s smear campaign against Pakistan, and the deliberate creation of war hysteria.”

Under India’s right-wing Hindu fundamentalist government, Pakistan bashing has spiked.  The BJP has used it the past year to win state elections throughout the country, last seen in the Gujarat elections in which Congress party leaders were even described as being unpatriotic for meeting the ex-foreign minister, Kasuri. Indian elections are to be held in 2018 so a rise in further anti-Pakistan rhetoric from Indian right-wing politicians is to be expected.

Read more: Army chief and PM express solidarity with Kashmir

During 2017 over  “1880” LOC violations have been recorded, resulting in the death of 87 civilians and soldiers. In 2018 there have been more than 200 violations in the first six weeks which has left 14 people dead. Khurram Dastigir pointed out, “The escalation in Indian bombings on the Line of Control has been matched with escalation in anti-Pakistan rhetoric, which often descends into baiting and bashing.”

Khurram Dastigir was responding to India’s allegations holding Pakistan responsible for the militant attack on February 10 on a military camp in Sunjuwan in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) in which six soldiers and a civilian died.

The fear across the world is that such fiascos can generate miscalculations between the two counties leading two nuclear powers to direct confrontation. India occupied Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted after these incidents, “Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed, I know I will be labeled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option.”

India’s pursuit development of a Ballistic Missile Defence System,  its military buildup, technological advancements, its defense agreements with great powers (France, Australia, France, Russia, Israel and US) are  indications of India’s aggressive and hegemonic aspirations in South Asia which threatens region’s stability.


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