"Pakistan will pay [back] India in its own coin in case of any misadventure," Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan warned on Tuesday, responding to his Indian counterpart's comments from a day earlier.
Following a militant attack over the weekend on an Indian army camp in Sunjuwan in Jammu — which left 10 people dead, including five Indian soldiers and a civilian — the Indian Foreign Minister Nirmala Sitharaman directly blamed Pakistan for the attack, saying: "Pakistan will have to pay for Saturday’s militant attack [...] Intelligence inputs show that terrorists were controlled by their handlers from across border. Evidence are being scrutinised by NIA (National Intelligence Agency). Pakistan is expanding the arch of terror to areas south of Pir Panjal and resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration."
Khan, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said: "Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan."
"Living evidence in person of Kulbhushan Jadhav is in front of the world," he added.
He said that Pakistan's armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country and "any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure regardless of its scale, mode, or location will not go unpunished and shall be met with an equal and proportionate response."
"India has failed to deliver justice to the 42 Pakistanis murdered in the Samjhota Express terrorism eleven years ago," Khan said, adding that India is destabilising regional and world peace "through irresponsible statements on nuclear deterrence" and escalation of attacks on the Line of Control.
"An aggressive Pakistan-centric doctrine and arrayed forces under a belligerent regime leading to possible strategic miscalculation by India will seriously impact the strategic stability in South Asia," he warned.
Sitharaman's comments came a day after Islamabad had urged New Delhi not to whip up war hysteria.
On Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry had strongly rejected similar allegations voiced by the Indian media.
“A particular section in the Indian media runs with their innuendos to malign Pakistan and whips up public frenzy. We are confident that the world community would take due cognisance of India’s smear campaign against Pakistan, and the deliberate creation of war hysteria,” the foreign ministry statement had said.
The Indian Express, however, quoted Sitharaman as claiming otherwise. “Terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, sponsored by Azhar Masood residing in Pakistan and deriving support from there in,” she was quoted as saying.
“Giving the evidences to Pakistan will be a continuous process. It will have to be proved over and over again that they are responsible. Pakistan will have to pay for this misadventure.”