Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned India saying if it carries out any sort of military action as a response to the Pulwama terror attack then Pakistan would retaliate. He however tempered his statement by calling for calm heads and dialogue to sort out issues between the neighbours.
In a televised address aired on Pakistan’s state channel PTV on the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary personnel, Khan said Pakistan stands to gain nothing by carrying out such an attack at a time when it is trying to move towards stability.
“It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want to tell the Indian government that we will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan,” Khan said, completely skirting the fact that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad has already claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We are hearing the voices of politicians who are saying they should teach a lesson to Pakistan, and that they should strike Pakistan. I ask them how they can presume the role of judge, jury and executioner,” he said.
Imran Khan then belittled the outrage across India over the attack to the coming 2019 Lok Sabha election. “We understand that this is an election year for you, and we understand that you will benefit from this,” he said.
“If you talk of striking Pakistan, then you should know that Pakistan will not think of retaliating. Pakistan will retaliate. It is easy to start a war. We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us only God knows. This issue should be solved through dialogue,” he said.
He expressed hope that calm heads would prevail over the matter and said the issue should be solved through dialogue.
Khan’s assurance of action against Pakistan-based individuals and groups for terror attacks on India comes across as an empty promise. The perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks continue to enjoy freedom of movement and action in the country, which is acknowledged across the globe as a sponsor and exporter of terrorism. Pakistan has repeatedly said there isn’t enough evidence against the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks, despite a global consensus on the issue.