ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has advised the Indian leadership to end ‘constant blustering and stop creating an atmosphere of war mongering’ in a significant statement came amid fast deterioration in ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
“Pakistan wants peace with India but any foolhardy act would only get a befitting response,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said in a terse but telling statement issued here on Tuesday.
He did not provide further details, though official sources said Pakistan conveyed India through diplomatic channels to avoid further escalation.
The development came amid reports and speculations that the Indian army might be contemplating ‘surgical strikes’ inside Pakistan. Also recently Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned that India could cross the border to protect its territorial integrity.
Tensions have been simmering between the two neighbors for months with frequent clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.
What added to the already strained ties was the recent diplomatic spat over harassment and bullying of staff and their families of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by the Indian secret agencies.
After a lukewarm Indian response to Pakistan’s protest, Islamabad recalled its high commissioner from New Delhi for an indefinite period or until the situation improves.
This was the first time since 2002 that either country withdrew its envoy. Pakistan also refused to attend the Word Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in India as a protest. These developments demonstrate a new low in their relationship.
With the absence of structure dialogue, independent observers fear that tensions could lead to serious standoff between the two countries.
Mindful of the implications, it is believed that efforts are being made to defuse the situation through back channels talks between the national security advisers of the two countries.
NSA Lt General (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval have had maintained contacts with each other. The two reportedly met in Bangkok in December last year to discuss the possibility of some kind of engagements.
However, the process could not move further after Islamabad and New Delhi engaged in a verbal duel over the handling of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhv’s meeting with his mother and wife in Islamabad.
India accused Pakistan for violating the understanding and harassing Jadhav’s family. Islamabad denied the charge and termed it as an attempt to divert attention from the real issue.
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