Islamabad, February 20, 2019 (PPI-OT): I had taken notice of the Indian allegations against Pakistan in the Pulwama Attacks. However, I decided to hold off my response, as I did not wish to divert attention from the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the Investment Conference we had been planning for a long time. I am responding to the Indian allegations, now that the visit has ended.
Firstly you accused Pakistan without any evidence, or even considering what advantage Pakistan would derive from this. Let me assure you, Pakistan derives no benefit from such acts – Even a foolish person would not sabotage such an important visit and conference by such an act.
What benefit would Pakistan have from such acts at a stage when we are progressing towards prosperity? We have suffered the consequences of the fight against terrorism for 15 years and lost 70,000 lives. What benefit would we gain from such an act, at this point when terrorism is subsiding and Pakistan is becoming prosperous?
I would like to ask the Indian government if they wish to stay trapped in the past and blame Pakistan for any incident in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, making Pakistan a regular whipping boy, instead of trying to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and resuming dialogue to move forward?
I am clearly telling you, this is the new Pakistan, a new mindset, a new thinking. It is in our interest that no one goes from our soil to carry out acts of terrorism anywhere outside Pakistan and similarly no one is allowed to come into Pakistan from outside for terrorism against us. We want stability.
I therefore wish to convey to the Government of India, our willingness for any investigation, if any Pakistani is involved. If you have any actionable evidence about the involvement of any Pakistani, I guarantee we will take action. We will take action, not because we are under pressure from anyone but because such acts are hostile to Pakistan’s national interest. If anyone is using Pakistani soil for such acts it is against our interest. Secondly, whenever we speak about dialogue with India, their precondition is to discuss terrorism first. I am telling you we will speak about terrorism too. Terrorism is a regional issue and we are totally willing to discuss it because we want this scourge to end. Pakistan is the country which has suffered the most from terrorism; 70,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives and we have incurred losses of more than 100 billion US$ due to this menace. We are ready to speak to you.
I want to say 2 final things to you. India needs to develop a new mindset, to introspect about the reason why Kashmiri youth have reached the point where they have lost all fear of death. Do you think one-dimensional oppression, cruelty and resorting to use of force to solve a problem is the right way? If that has not worked earlier, do you think it will work now?
In Afghanistan, after 17 years, the whole world has accepted that there is no military solution and the only way to solve issues is through dialogue. Should not there be discussion on this in India too?
Secondly, we are hearing voices in India, including from the media and politicians about seeking revenge and carrying strikes against Pakistan-firstly, which law in the world allows any person or country to become judge, jury and executioner, all in one by any standard of justice? We understand it is your election year and slogans of teaching Pakistan a lesson will yield results. However, if you think you can attack Pakistan in any manner, Pakistan will not think of retaliating, Pakistan will retaliate. We will have no option, but to respond.
I cannot predict where it will go from there. We all know it is easy to start a war – that is in human hands. Ending war is beyond man; only god knows where it ends. I hope that better sense will prevail. We will exercise restraint and maturity. As in Afghanistan, this matter can only be solved through dialogue.
For more information, contact:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan