Thursday, June 30, 2022

‘Pakistan will respond to Indian aggression,’ FM Qureshi cautions

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Finance Minister Asad Umar held a joint press conference in the wake of India’s violation of the Line of Control (LoC) today.

“Pakistan will definitely respond to Indian aggression,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi categorically announced while addressing media on Tuesday.

He was reading out a handout released after the meeting of National Security Council today. “Pakistan has rejected India’s claims of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and heavy casualties,” Qureshi read out.

“The action has been done for domestic consumption given the election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk. The forum concluded that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” the handout cited.

National and international media will be allowed to visit the site of attack, so that “Indian propaganda can be unveiled,” said Qureshi

FM Qureshi further informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a special meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) — which supervises the operational command and control of nuclear warheads — on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The government has constituted a three-member committee, comprising the foreign minister, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Finance Minister Asad Umar, to consult with the parliament on the matter.

During the NSC meeting, Qureshi shared, it was decided that national and international media will be allowed to visit the site of attack, so that “Indian propaganda can be unveiled.”

Shedding light on the timeline of Indian Air force’s misadventure, the minister informed, “At 2:55AM Indian jets intruded the Pakistani airspace and at 2:58AM they [were driven out] of our airspace. They fled from the LoC because of the alertness of our Air Force.”

At 2:55AM Indian jets intruded the Pakistani airspace and at 2:58AM they [were driven out] of our airspace because of the alertness of our Air Force.

Pakistan Air Force is always vigilant, and always ready to face the challenge. “We have our own sense of timing. We will act, not react,” Qureshi asserted.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will engage the international leadership on the pressing issue, the foreign minister told mediamen.

“It was expected that the Modi government will create tensions owing to upcoming elections in India,” adding that Pakistan is well aware of Indian schemes.

PAF scrambles Indian jets

In the wee hours of February 26, Indian aircraft intruded the LoC near Muzaffarabad sector, however they scrambled back following timely response from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor informed in a tweet, Indian Air Force violated the LoC and the prompt response from the Pakistan Air Force compelled Indian jets to go back.

He said “facing timely and effective response from the PAF, [Indian jets] released [their] payload in haste while escaping, which fell near Balakot.” However, no casualties or damage was reported during the incident, DG ISPR added.

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