In the latest sign of escalation in tensions, Pakistan on Tuesday warned India against any ‘misadventure’, saying it will pay the neighboring country in its own coin in case of any aggression.
The reaction came just a day after the Indian defence minister, while accusing Pakistan of being behind the recent attack on an army camp in Indian occupied Kashmir, threatened to make Islamabad ‘pay’ for the attack.
But separate statements issued by the defence minister and the Foreign Office strongly rebutted the Indian accusations while at the same time cautioned India against any misadventure.
In a strongly worded reaction, Khurram Dastgir vowed to ‘defend robustly’ every inch of Pakistan’s soil.
“Any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure regardless of its scale, mode, or location will not go unpunished and shall be met with an equal and proportionate response,” he cautioned India.
Stating that India has the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantial evidence, Dastgir instead asked the neighbouring state to “answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan”.
“Living evidence in person of Kulbhushan Jadhav is in front of the world.”
Dastgir further stated that India has failed to deliver justice for the 42 Pakistanis who were murdered in the Samjhota Express fire some 11 years ago.
“India is destabilising regional peace in word and deed, through irresponsible statements on nuclear deterrent and through its bloody, five-fold escalation in 2017 of attacks on unarmed civilians on the line-of-control and working boundary,” the defence minister said further.
Dastgir said Pakistan’s armed forces are “alive to all possibilities, and prepared fully to defend our country’s territorial integrity”.
The defence minister further said that “an aggressive Pakistan centric doctrine and arrayed forces under a belligerent regime leading to a possible strategic miscalculation by India will seriously impact the strategic stability in South Asia”.
In a statement, the Foreign Office also vehemently rejected the baseless allegations leveled by the Indian defence minister.
“The Indian tendency of apportioning blame to Pakistan without a shred of evidence is regrettable,” said Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson as he responded to a question.
“The Indian allegations are premature and inopportune, especially as India itself admits that the operation still continued and investigations had just started, when these comments were made,” he added.
“We have repeatedly seen India arrogating to itself the role of judge, jury and executioner. The reflex assignment of blame and smear campaigns, based on unfounded allegations, carry no credibility.”
Faisal further went on to shed light on the threatening tone of the Indian comments that achieved nothing but further vitiates the already tense environment marked by unprecedented ceasefire violations by India along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.
“Pakistan is fully committed and capable of defending itself against any act of aggression,” Faisal reaffirmed.
“We expect the international community to take cognisance of the belligerent and repeated Indian statements against Pakistan, which are not only against international law but also threatens regional peace and stability.”