Pakistan wants peace, but India is creating a “war frenzy”, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi claimed on Sunday, amidst simmering tensions between the two countries following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
Addressing the media following a consultative meeting in the wake of the Pulwama attack, Qureshi also said that Pakistan was trying to defuse tensions and has written to the UN, seeking the world body’s intervention.
Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir when a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their bus in Pulwama district, sparking outrage in the country.
Days after the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said security forces were given a free hand to avenge the dastardly act.
“Pakistan wants peace and I want to give clear message that India is creating war frenzy but if it thinks that it can bring Pakistan under pressure or browbeat us, then it should get rid of this notion because this nation is united like a fist,” Qureshi said.
“Don’t even think of looking at Pakistan with an evil eye,” he warned India as he asked New Delhi to “change its attitude towards” Islamabad.
Stating that India has issued a circular to cancel leaves of nurses, doctors and paramedics in Jammu and Kashmir, he asked, “What impression it wants to give? Qureshi also recalled that former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has said that “you can press the people but not their ideas”.
He asked the Indian politicians to counsel the BJP-led government in New Delhi to follow restraint.
Qureshi, who met former foreign secretaries and envoys on Sunday, said the consultations were held to get their input to tackle emerging developments in the wake of the Pulwama attack.
India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the Pulwama attack and highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
The international community led by the US pressed Pakistan to deny safe haven to terror groups operating form its soil and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.
India has asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control.
New Delhi also announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
Feb 24, 2019 21:00 IST
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