Qureshi’s India attack talk draws skepticism
The warning by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday that Pakistan has credible intelligence India is planning another military attack between 16th to the 20th of April against Pakistan, has been received with a dose of skepticism by the two major opposition political parties.
The military officials told Business Recorder that threat is not determined by the statements as it is determined through enemy deployments and movement. They said that as far as Qureshi’s statement is concerned, the government had already informed P5 in UNSC which shows there are threats from Indian side.
Senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman said that she was surprised at the announcement about a specific threat from India by the Foreign Minister.
“This is a sensitive matter and should have been made at the right forum which is Parliament, not at a random press talk. If the threat is real it should have come from the Prime Minister at a proper briefing,” she said.
Naveed Chaudhry, another PPP stalwart, said that the government is in disarray as it has been unable to fulfill its promises except victimizing its political opponents.
“The recent conflict with India came as a blessing for this government due to which all political parties and the nation united as there can be no compromise on the defence of the motherland,” he added.
He said that Modi could be considering another attack on Pakistan ahead of elections, but it is very unlikely as it could not afford another adventurism after getting a befitting response from the Armed Forces of Pakistan on February 27.
Chaudhry said that PTI government is solely responsible for the present state of the economy and skyrocketing prices in the country and this maybe a factor in the government’s claim of credible evidence of an imminent attack by India.
Talking to Business Recorder senior Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that an attack on Pakistan is possible as Modi’s position is quite weak compared to 2014.
He however added that it can not be ruled out that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has miserably failed to deliver despite the passage of seven months, may be using the Indian card in order to divert the attention of masses from real issues.
“Modi is a killer of Muslims, and his government’s recent adventurism against Pakistan has benefited him in some hard-line Hindu dominated areas, but we are equally skeptical of Pakistan’s ruling elite as it may be a ploy to mislead the masses to hide its weaknesses,” he added.
Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) urged PTI to stop playing with the sentiments of the people as anti-India sentiments are sold in India and not in Pakistan.
“The people of Pakistan and its armed forces are capable enough to deal with India, so instead of terrifying people, the PTI must concentrate on real issues, ie, inflation, POL price hike, poverty, etc,” he added.
Responding to Foreign Minister Qureshi’s presser, India’s External Affairs Ministry said that ‘India rejects the irresponsible and preposterous statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan with a clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region. This public gimmick appears to be a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India’.
“It has been made clear to Pakistan that it cannot absolve itself of responsibility of a cross border terrorist attack in India. No attempt at creating an alibi for its complicity in such attacks will succeed. Pakistan needs to take credible and irreversible steps against terrorism operating from all territories under its control rather than making hysterical statements to obfuscate the core issue that bedevils our region: cross- border terrorism. Pakistan has been advised to use established diplomatic and DGMO channels to share any actionable and credible intelligence it has about imminent terror attacks. India reserves the right to respond firmly and decisively to any cross border terrorist attack,” it added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019
By ZULFIQAR AHMAD & NUZHAT NAZAR