Rejecting categorically Narendra Modi’s irresponsible and war-mongering remarks that India could defeat Pakistan in 10 days, Islamabad has hit back at the hostile neighbour saying the Indian prime minister’s belligerent rhetoric unmasks the extremist mindset of his BJP government.
Modi, while addressing his country’s military personnel on Tuesday, had said that Indian “armed forces will not take more than 7-10 days to make Pakistan bite the dust”.
The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars and last February came close to a fourth with tit-for-tat airstrikes sparked by an attack on Indian troops in occupied Kashmir.
Modi is under pressure after weeks of ongoing protests against a new citizenship law, a slowing economy and the prospect of losing the latest in a string of state elections in New Delhi next month.
“Pakistan completely rejects Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s irresponsible and war-mongering remarks. These remarks are another reflection of India’s incurable obsession with Pakistan and the BJP government and leadership’s desperate attempts to divert attention from growing domestic and international criticism of their discriminatory, anti-Kashmir and anti-minority policies,” Aisha Farooqui, the chief Foreign Office spokesperson said in statement on Wednesday.
“The Indian prime minister’s threats and provocative statements further illustrate the extremist mindset that pervades the BJP leadership and has evidently permeated the state institutions in India,” she added.
The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan’s immediate and effective response to India’s Balakot misadventure, including the downing of Indian fighter aircraft and capture of Indian pilot last year, should suffice to underscore the will, capacity and preparedness of our armed forces.
“No one should underestimate the resolve of the people and the armed forces of Pakistan to effectively thwart any aggressive action,” she maintained.
In February 2019, the air forces of the two countries clashed in the skies over the Line of Control (LoC) after the botched Balakot airstrike. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Pakistan had later released the Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture.
Farooqui also urged the international community to take cognizance of the Indian leadership’s continuing belligerent rhetoric and aggressive measures, which she said poses a threat to regional peace and security.
“We hope steps would be taken to facilitate peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for durable peace and stability in South Asia,” she added.
In August Modi’s government stripped Indian Kashmir of its partial autonomy. Pakistan termed the move as a “clear violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions” in the region.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on several occasions has informed the world that Pakistan does not want a war with India, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity.
“We are prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response. Failing, the world community will be responsible for the catastrophic aftermath,” he had warned.