Pakistan’s foreign minister tells press conference that ‘important capitals’ have been informed of Delhi’s designs and asked to caution it against misadventure
Pakistan has received intelligence that India is planning a “surgical strike” against Pakistan in a bid to unify its countrymen and distract them from domestic concerns, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Friday.
Addressing a press conference in Dubai, where he is currently on a two-day trip, the Qureshi said that this was a very “serious” development. “I have knowledge that they [India] have tried to seek approval from important players who they consider to be their partners [about the strike],” he said, adding that Islamabad believed this misadventure was being planned to divert attention from “serious internal issues” in India.
“The situation in India-held Kashmir was never good but it has deteriorated further,” he said, summarizing India’s domestic concerns. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s policies have resulted in a countrywide protest of farmers, he said, adding that the mishandling of the coronavirus by Indian authorities and its impact on their economy was also known to everyone.
“That protests are growing. The opposition parties, lawyers, civil society and trade unions have expressed their support for the farmers in India. Minorities are also increasingly uncomfortable in India—the protests against the National Register of Citizens in Assam have not gone away,” he said, adding that Muslims, Dalits, Sikhs were all “very disturbed” in today’s India.
“With all that in mind, we believe, India wants to divert attention,” the foreign minister said. “Hitting Pakistan, in their opinion, is a good way of unifying a divided nation,” he said, adding that Pakistan had already exposed Indian designs via a dossier that was made public on Nov. 14. That dossier highlighted, with “irrefutable evidence” India’s funding and fomenting of terrorism in Pakistan.
“The EU Disinfo Lab has recently exposed an Indian network with a sole objective to malign Pakistan,” continued the foreign minister. “Through you [media] I want to tell India very clearly that Pakistan is very prepared to respond and defeat their designs,” he said. “We will do it effectively. As we responded immediately and effectively in February 2019 [when India staged a strike inside Balakot],” he said, adding that Pakistan’s position had been communicated to important capitals. “We have shared the information we have picked up, and they are fully aware of Indian designs and our resolve,” he stressed.
Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan believes that if India undertakes this misadventure, it would “seriously undermine” the Afghan peace process. “If things go wrong [in the peace process], India will be held responsible,” he warned, adding that any strike by India also risked undermining regional peace and stability and would have “catastrophic” consequences.
“I urge the global community to caution India to refrain and desist and to not test Pakistan’s resolve. I warn my eastern neighbor that we are aware of their mindset and we are aware of their designs. We know more than you think you know,” he added.
In a subsequent posting on Twitter, Special Assistant to the P.M. on National Security confirmed Qureshi’s intelligence reports, noting the information as “very specific and reliable.” He said that Pakistan was aware that India was “deeply unnerved” because its acts of aggression against Pakistan and disinformation propaganda had both been exposed.
“India’s desperation has reached absurd levels if they think they can strike a united and proud nation that is a nuclear power. We have informed the world that we know exactly what India wants to do. We also know that some capitals were already aware,” he said, adding that it was incumbent upon the global community to prevent Delhi from destabilizing the region in a bid to divert attention from domestic concerns.
“We remind the world that peace is a collective responsibility,” he said. “Let there be no doubt that Pakistan stands for peace but if provoked, our armed forces are fully prepared to thwart any aggression on our homeland and teach our enemy the lesson they deserve.”