Global bodies, allies alerted about threats from India: FO

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said that global bodies and allies have been alerted about the threats from India.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui in her maiden weekly media briefing said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had written to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Security Council president Kelly Craft “comprehensively” apprising them about the threats to Pakistan due to intensified ceasefire violations and deployment of Indian troops along the Line of Control.

“We have shared our concerns and fears with international organizations and our partners as well,” she added.

Tensions between the troubled neighbors spiked sharply after Delhi annexed occupied Kashmir on Aug 5, 2019, by revoking the valley’s special constitutional status and remain high ever since because of the situation in the occupied region.

Ongoing widespread protests in India against the controversial citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens renewed fears of Indian aggression. It is suspected that the Indian government may undertake a diversionary misadventure against Pakistan because of its worsening internal situation. Those concerns were strengthened by the deployment of missiles along the LoC and the extra-ordinary movement of Indian troops.

The new Indian army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane further ratcheted up the tensions in his first media interview soon after assuming the command in which he said: “If Pakistan does not stop its policy of state-sponsored terrorism, we reserve the right to pre-emptively strike at the sources of terror threat and this intent has adequately been demonstrated in our response during surgical strikes and Balakot Operation.”

The FO in a separate statement denounced Gen Naravane’s statement as reckless. “We reject the new Indian Army Chief’s irresponsible statement regarding “pre-emptive strikes” across the LoC inside Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).”

The FO said that the Indian leadership should not be mistaken “about Pakistan’s resolve and readiness to thwart against any aggressive Indian move, inside its territory or AJK”.

The Indian army chief was reminded of Pakistan’s “befitting” response to “Balakot misadventure” in which two of their jets were downed and one of the pilots Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured. The pilot was released days later amidst international efforts to defuse the stand-off.

Spokesperson Farooqui said that Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts have exposed the Indian government’s agenda for promoting Hindu nationalism at the cost of religious minorities. “The global community is now awakened to the threat to regional peace and security that the Hindutva driven policies of Indian government poses,” she maintained.

Responding to a question about the possibility of an OIC meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, she said: “We are working to optimally utilize all the OIC mechanisms to highlight the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in the IOJK. In this context, a special session of OIC Foreign Ministers’ is also envisaged, for which work remains in progress.”

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