FO warns India against inflammatory rhetoric targeting Pakistan



ISLAMABAD: As politicians of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fuelled anti-Pakistan sentiments to win votes in their election campaign, Islamabad has strongly reacted to the “inflammatory” rhetoric.

The Foreign Office, on Tuesday, issued a clear warning to India, asking it to desist from any misadventure against Pakistan as a last resort.

In their bid to garner more votes in their ongoing general elections, spanning across six weeks, BJP and PM Modi have engaged in “bravado” and “jingoism”.

Reacting to the use of provocative speeches aimed against Pakistan, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch made it clear that the accusations against the country’s strategic capabilities were misplaced.

“The purpose of Pakistan’s strategic capability is to safeguard its sovereignty and defend its territorial integrity. Pakistan has also clearly demonstrated its resolve to defend itself in the past and would not hesitate to do so in future should the Indian side choose to embark on a misadventure,” she warned.

Pakistan, she pointed out, was witnessing an alarming surge in anti-Pakistan rhetoric from various Indian leaders amidst the ongoing Lok Sabha election campaign.

“We outrightly reject these irresponsible statements, which cover a wide array of topics including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, counter-terrorism efforts, state of bilateral relations and nuclear capabilities,” she said.

“The bravado and jingoism exhibited by Indian leaders expose a reckless and extremist mindset. This mindset calls into question India’s capacity to be a responsible steward of its strategic capability,” added the spokeswoman.

Pakistan regretted that these statements from the Indian leadership reflect an unhealthy and entrenched obsession with Pakistan and reveal a deliberate intent to exploit hyper-nationalism for electoral gains. “These also signify a desperate attempt to deflect attention from mounting domestic and international criticism,” she pointed out.

Pakistan says just a few months ago it had exposed details of India’s campaign of extrajudicial and transnational assassinations on Pakistani soil. “India’s continuous emphasis on its readiness to take aggressive actions within Pakistan constitutes a tacit admission of guilt,” she said.

The vision of peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia can only be realised through the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, including Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and a shift from confrontation to cooperation, she said.

“Regarding the inflammatory rhetoric about Azad Jammu and Kashmir, we reiterate historical facts, legal principles, moral considerations, and ground realities refute India’s baseless claims,” the spokesperson said.

IIOJK remains an internationally-recognised disputed territory and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions clearly mandate a plebiscite under UN auspices for its final determination, she added.

“No amount of inflated Indian statements can change this reality. India should, therefore, focus on implementing these resolutions instead of indulging in fantasies of grandeur,” the FO spokesperson said.

FO, addressing Indian politicians, asked to cease dragging Pakistan into their domestic politics for electoral gains and to handle sensitive strategic matters with the utmost caution.

“We call upon the international community to take note of Indian leadership’s belligerent rhetoric, which poses a grave threat to regional peace and stability,” said the spokesperson.