ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said Pakistan would forcefully respond to any Indian misadventure as it termed Indian Home Minister Amit Shah’s reference to ‘surgical strikes’ provocative and delusional.

“While Pakistan is a peace-loving country, we will spare no effort in resolutely thwarting any aggressive designs,” the Foreign Office said while responding to the Indian home minister’s comments at a ceremony in Goa in which he had recalled the so-called surgical strikes of 2016.

Shah had on that occasion said: “Surgical strike under PM Modi and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar was an important step. We sent out a message that no one can disturb India’s borders. There was a time for talks, but now is the time to reciprocate.”

India had in September 2016 claimed to have conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control days after an attack on its army base in Uri. Delhi’s claim was, however, dismissed by Pakistan as an illusion.

FO warns of forceful response to misadventure

Shah’s statement has come in the backdrop of recent allegations by India of militant activities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The FO said it strongly condemned the “irresponsible and provocative” threat of “surgical strikes” in Pakistan by the Indian minister.

The FO, while vowing a strong retaliation, recalled the response to the India’s 2019 Balakot misadventure in which an Indian fighter jet was downed by Pakistan Air Force and its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured.

The 2019 response, the FO said, “fully demonstrated the will, capacity and preparedness of our armed forces to deter Indian aggression”.

Shah’s “delusional statement”, the FO said, was another proof of the BJP-RSS combine’s propensity to stoke regional tensions for both ideological reasons and political expediency, based on enmity towards Pakistan.

“Such statements also serve as smokescreens to divert the world’s attention from India’s state-terrorism and systematic human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and against Muslims and other minorities in India,” it said.

The FO recalled that it had repeatedly drawn the world’s attention to India’s sinister designs of staging “false flag” operations to implicate Pakistan and Kashmiris.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2021

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