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Pakistan Will Give Befitting Response to Indian Aggression: Imran Khan

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Prime minister, in a series of tweets, stresses that Islamabad will have no option but to respond if Delhi undertakes ‘false flag’ operation

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday once again warned the world that Pakistan would be forced to “give a befitting response” to India in case of any aggression from the neighboring nation.

“Over the last 5 years of Modi’s government, India has been moving towards Hindu Rashtra with its Hindutva Supremacist fascist ideology. Now with the Citizens Amendment Act, all those Indians who want a pluralist India are beginning to protest and it is becoming a mass movement,” he said on Twitter. “At the same time the siege by Indian Occupation forces in IOJK [India-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir] continues and a bloodbath can be expected when it is lifted. As these protests are increasing, threat to Pak from India is also increasing. Indian Army Chief’s statement adds to our concerns of a False Flag operation.”

The prime minister was referring to a statement issued earlier this week by Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat, who claimed the situation along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between Pakistan and India could “escalate any time.” In his statement, the Indian Chief of Army Staff also claimed Delhi’s armed forces were ready for the “spiraling of the escalatory matrix.”

Khan said on Twitter that this statement was yet another attempt by India to distract the world from its domestic problems. The Indian statement came amid an ongoing protest movement—nearly three weeks old—against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. The recently passed law seeks to make it easier for non-Muslims who migrated from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan prior to 2015 to secure Indian citizenship. Critics have slammed it as an attempt by Indian P.M. Narendra Modi to further erode the secularism enshrined in India’s constitution.

“I have been warning the international community of this for some time and am reiterating again: if India does such an operation to divert attention from its domestic chaos plus whip up war hysteria to mobilize Hindu nationalism, Pakistan will have no option but to give a befitting response,” Khan added.

The statement was posted on Twitter in both Urdu and English.

Khan’s statement follows similar concerns from Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The ISPR spokesman had also said that the armed forces were ready to ‘befittingly’ respond to any Indian misadventure and aggression. While Qureshi had similarly warned that the Indian army chief’s statement was an attempt to divert global attention from the unrest caused by the citizenship law.

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