Pakistani FM Claims India Preparing Military Attack

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a press conference in Multan on Sunday. ─ AFP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a press conference in Multan on Sunday. ─ AFP

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said the government has reliable intelligence that India can launch another aggression against Pakistan between April 16 to 20.

In response to Qureshi's remarks, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar retorted that the former's "irresponsible and preposterous statement" had the "clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region".

"The worldwide community must take notice of India's irresponsible acts of aggression", he maintained, adding that Pakistan is once again offering dialogue to India for prosperity and stability between both countries.

Qureshi said in the southern town of Multan on April 7 that the attack could take place between April 16 and 20.

Qureshi further added that the information has been shared with Prime Minister Imran Khan, global community, and permanent members of the UN Security Council.

On February 26, Indian warplanes violated Pakistani airspace and allegedly struck what New Delhi claimed was a JeM training camp, a claim rejected by Pakistan and never proved by India.

The foreign minister added that Pakistan has informed all five permanent members of United Nations Security Council (UNSC), including China, France, United States, United Kingdom and Russian Federation about Indian plans to disrupt the peace of the region.

"It has been made clear to Pakistan that it can not absolve itself of responsibility of a cross border terrorist attack in India", New Delhi said today.

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"Pakistan released Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture for peace of the region as we wanted to de-escalate the situation".

The claim comes at a time when tensions over a February standoff between the two nuclear-armed neighbours had appeared to ease.

The claim by Qureshi came almost six weeks after India struck the biggest terrorist training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed deep inside Pakistan in retaliation to the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

In Islamabad, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was summoned to Pakistan Foreign office and he was issued a warning against "any misadventure" by India.

US-based Foreign Policy magazine, citing United States officials, said all of Pakistan's F-16 combat jets had been accounted for, contradicting an Indian air force assessment that it had shot down one of the jets.

Mr Qureshi said Pakistan had raised its concerns with the UN Security Council. The first hundred were released on Sunday. Another attack on Pakistan will most certainly help the fortunes of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has nearly exclusively been campaigning on the plank of "national security" and "nationalism".

The released prisoners were taken to the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station under tight security, where they boarded the Allama Iqbal Express for Lahore.

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