In statement, Foreign Office urges international community to take notice of Delhi’s ‘incurable’ obsession with Islamabad
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Wednesday rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “belligerent rhetoric and aggressive measures,” stating his remarks about a conflict between the neighboring nations reflected Delhi’s “incurable obsession” with Islamabad.
Responding to a speech Modi gave to military personnel in Delhi on Tuesday, the Foreign Office statement urged the global community to take notice of the ongoing threats to regional peace and security posed by his words. During his speech, Modi claimed Indian forces could defeat Pakistan in a conflict within 10 days.
“Our armed forces will not take more than seven to 10 days to make Pakistan bite the dust,” Modi claimed, as he took credit for Indian strikes across the Line of Control. The Indian premier was referring to two incidents in particular. The first occurred in 2016, when Indian troops fired into Pakistan-administered Kashmir, killing two Pakistan Army soldiers. The Indian army claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes,” but the Army rejected this as a “false” impression. The second occurred last year when Indian jets flew into Pakistani airspace, leading to an Indian fighter jet being shot down and the pilot being captured.
In its statement, the Foreign Office said Islamabad completely rejected Modi’s “war-mongering” remarks. “These remarks are another reflection of India’s incurable obsession with Pakistan and the BJP Government and leadership’s desperate attempts to divert attention from growing domestic and international criticism of their discriminatory, anti-Kashmir and anti-minority policies,” it said. “The Indian prime minister’s threats and provocative statements further illustrate the extremist mindset that pervades the BJP leadership and has evidently permeated the state institutions in India,” it added.
India has been reeling from ongoing protests against a controversial citizenship law that has been criticized both within and outside the country for discriminating against Muslims and further eroding the secularism enshrined in the country’s constitution. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly warned that, in a bid to distract the world from its domestic woes, India could stage a “false flag” operation and blame it on Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s immediate and effective response to India’s Balakot misadventure, including the downing of Indian fighter aircraft and capture of Indian pilot last year, should suffice to underscore the will, capacity and preparedness of our armed forces,” said the Foreign Office. “We urge the international community to take cognizance of the Indian leadership’s continuing belligerent rhetoric and aggressive measures, which pose a threat to regional peace and security. We hope steps would be taken to facilitate peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for durable peace and stability in South Asia,” it added.
Tensions between Pakistan and India have been tense since the Balakot airstrike, but hit new lows last August when Delhi unilaterally scrapped the special autonomy guaranteed to the disputed region under the Indian constitution. Six months since that happened, the region remains under virtual lockdown, with observers describing it as an “open prison.”