Pakistan reserves right to ‘befitting response’ after LoC violation: FM Qureshi

Published: February 26, 2019
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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

PHOTO: FILE

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD                      : Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in a short statement on Tuesday, said Pakistan reserves the right to respond after Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets violated the Line of Control (LoC) early morning.

“India has violated the LoC and Pakistan reserves the right to give a befitting response,” the FM said.

The reply by Islamabad comes after India increased the escalation level following the Pulwama attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).

Earlier, FM Qureshi summoned an emergency meeting at the Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday to discuss the situation following the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) violation of Line of Control (LoC).

The current security situation is expected to be discussed during the high-level huddle following the airspace violation by the IAF. The meeting will be attended by former secretaries and senior ambassadors.

IAF fighter jets violated the LoC following which the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) immediately scrambled, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said early Tuesday.

The nation has nothing to worry about, the foreign minister said, adding that the sacrifices of martyrs has made peace possible.

“We have fought a successful war against terrorism,” said FM Qureshi

We are a peace-loving nation and are aware of the consequences of terrorism, the foreign minister further said.

Qureshi lauded the armed forces for their prompt reply to Indian aggression and said that “the defenders of the nation are awake, and the nation has nothing to worry about”.

Stop levelling baseless accusations, FM Qureshi tells India after Pulwama attack

“Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft went back,” Director-General ISPR Major-General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

In a follow-up post, he added that the planes violated LoC through Muzaffarabad sector. “Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot,” he said.

The official Twitter account of the DG ISPR added that no casualties or damage was reported.

The military spokesperson further tweeted images of the payload dropped by the escaping Indian aircraft.

The LoC violation comes a day after a meeting between army chief General Qamar Bajwa and air chief Anwar Mujahid Khan at the Air Headquarters in Islamabad on Monday.

Amid relentless saber-rattling from New Delhi, the military reiterated that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared for a befitting response to any Indian aggression or misadventure.

General Qamar also visited the headquarters of the Rawalpindi Corps where was briefed by the corps commander on the operational situation and state of readiness along the Line of Actual Contact, Line of Control and Working Boundary.

War frenzy has been sweeping across India even since a young man from Indian occupied Kashmir rammed a vehicle full of explosives into a military convoy in Pulwama, killing nearly four dozen soldiers on February 14.

India cannot isolate Pakistan: Qureshi

Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group, which Delhi claims operates from Pakistan, purportedly claimed credit for the deadliest attack on Indian troops in IoK. Delhi put the blame squarely on the state of Pakistan, deployed its troops menacingly close to the border, and started issuing threats.

Though the Pulwama attack seemed to strike a nerve in India, with growing calls for ‘revenge’, defence analysts say India has few good military options.

Islamabad has offered India every possible help to investigate the attack and even held out an assurance that action would be taken if Delhi shared credible evidence of the involvement of any group using Pakistan’s soil for attacks in mainland India.

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