Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday confirmed Indian fighter jets violated its airspace, however refuted Indian claim of pondering militant’ hideout inside its side of Line of Control at Muzafarabad sector.
Flanked by federal misters of defence and finance, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, the Foreign Minister made it loud and clear that Pakistan will respond to Indian aggression at any cost, but, at an appropriate time.
“Pakistan will respond to Indian aggression at a suitable time. This time, we will decide place and time of action,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said addressing packed press conference which was called on a short notice.
Otherwise a cool and calm personality, Qureshi looked aggressive during the press briefing. His body language and actions spoke louder than his words during the press briefing he jointly held with Pervez Khatak, Federal Minister of Defence and Asad Umar, Federal Minister of Finance.
Qureshi refuted Indian claim about pondering militants’ hideout inside Pakistan’s side of Line of control, and vowed to expose Indian designs at every International forum.
The foreign minister informed the representatives of national and International media about the outcome of National Security meeting which was held in premises of Prime Minister House earlier Tuesday.
The committee, Qureshi said, has strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot as well as the claim of heavy casualties.
“Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim. This action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk. The claimed area of strike is open for the world to see the facts on ground. For this domestic and international media is being taken to the impact site,” Qureshi said.
“India is habitual of undertaking such actions shortly before elections. I’m sure this action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk,” Qureshi added.
Responding a question asked by correspondent of Pakistan Observer, Qureshi said he has already discussed the matter with Pakistan’s friends across the globe.
“We have already discussed the matter [of Indian design in the region] with our friends. Before responding to Indian aggression, we intend to expose India at every forum through a well-defined strategy,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi announced that “a three-member committee has been formed, including me, finance minister and defence minister to approach the parliament, and so that the people of Pakistan can be taken into confidence on the evolving situation”.
Later in the evening on Tuesday, Qureshi held telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and informed him about Indian aggression.
Unveiling Pakistan’s strategy to expose Indian designs, Shah Mahmood said Pakistan has decided to engage the world through effective collaboration of offices of Prime Minister and Foreign office.
“We have decided that international leadership will be informed through the foreign and prime minister office. At the request of Pakistan, there is an OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) conflict group emergency meeting underway [in Jeddah], and Tehmina Janjua is representing Pakistan there. We will present Pakistan’s point of view at that forum,” Qureshi added.
The foreign minister informed the journalists that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also had telephonic conversations with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the issue.
Qureshi himself spoke to foreign Ministers of China and UK.
“I also took British and Chinese foreign ministers into confidence because I knew a trilateral meeting is about to take place in Beijing between India, China and Russia,” Qureshi said. “I wanted to present the facts to them.”
Speaking on India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj being invited to address the Inaugural Plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC, Qureshi said Pakistan will take stand against inviting Indian foreign minister.
Earlier on Tuesday, Acting Foreign Secretary of Pakistan summoned the Indian Acting High Commissioner to Pakistan and strongly condemned the Indian violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when at approximately 0254 hours today, 8 Indian aircrafts were effectively intercepted by Pakistani Air Force jets and forced to scuttle back, while randomly releasing their payload which landed in an uninhabited remote area.
“Baseless, reprehensible Indian claims of targeting a large terrorist camp and resultant causalities to placate Indian domestic audience and electioneering were strongly rebutted. The Acting Foreign Secretary categorically stated that Indian aggression was a threat to regional peace and stability and would get a befitting response by Pakistan at a time and place of its choosing,” a statement released from Pakistan’s foreign office stated. (Agencies)