Pak condemns Indian minister’s provocative remarks

FO says India should exercise ‘extreme caution’ while passing remarks about crossing LoC

Our Correspondent July 27, 2023
India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had boasted that, if needed, the Indian Army is ready to cross the Line of Control (LoC) in IIOJK. Photo: ANI/File


Pakistan on Wednesday condemned the “provocative remarks” made by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh – “boasting readiness to cross the Line of Control” – and counselled “India to exercise utmost caution”.

Earlier in the day, The Times of India reported that while addressing a Kargil War Memorial in Ladakh, Rajnath said: “India is a peace-loving nation which believes in its centuries-old values and is committed towards international laws, but to safeguard our interests, we will not hesitate in crossing the LoC.”

The Indian defence minister added that India would go to any “extreme” to maintain its honour and dignity, “if that includes crossing the LoC, we are ready to do that. If we are provoked and if the need arises, we will cross the LoC”.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch condemned Rajnath’s remarks, saying: “We counsel India to exercise utmost caution as its belligerent rhetoric is a threat to the regional peace and stability, and contributes to destabilizing the strategic environment in South Asia.”

Read Int’l community urged to halt Indian brutalities in IIOJK

The spokesperson said, “This is not the first time that India’s political leaders and senior military officers have made highly irresponsible remarks about Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. This kind of jingoistic statements must stop.”

Mumtaz said, “The Indian leadership is reminded that Pakistan is fully capable of defending itself against any aggression.”

She emphasised that the practice of dragging Pakistan into India’s populist public discourse, with a view to stoking hyper-nationalism and reaping electoral gains, needed to end.

“Everything from history to law and from morality to the situation on the ground belies India’s claims about Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internationally recognized disputed territory,” she said, adding that the relevant UN Security Council resolutions stipulated that the final disposition of the territory would be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

She said India to be well-advised to faithfully implement these resolutions, rather than entertaining any notions of grandeur.


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