ISLAMABAD: “Any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure… shall be met with an equal and proportionate response,” Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir said on Tuesday.
His Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday blamed Islamabad for Saturday’s attack on an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed five soldiers and a civilian and wounded nearly a dozen.
The attackers “derived support” from Pakistan, which “would pay for this adventure,” Sitharaman said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday condemned “India’s smear campaign… and the deliberate creation of war hysteria.”
Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammed Faisal on Tuesday said India’s “tendency of apportioning blame to Pakistan, without a shred of evidence, is regrettable” and carries “no credibility.”
He added: “More deplorable is (India’s) threatening tone (that) further vitiates the already tense environment marked by unprecedented cease-fire violations by India.”
Foreign relations expert Qamar Cheema told Arab News that “the reduced role of the international community on the Kashmir issue” has contributed to a deterioration in Indian-Pakistani relations and a “chaotic” regional situation.
Pakistan’s Defense Ministry vowed to defend the country’s sovereignty, and condemned New Delhi’s “silence” over Indian naval officer Kulbushan Yadev, who was arrested last year by Pakistani security forces on charges of subversive activity.
“Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan,” said Dastgir.
He accused India of “destabilizing regional peace” and escalating cease-fire violations along the two countries’ disputed border.
Cheema said the impasse “may lead this region to a miscalculation,” and mounting public and media pressure for all-out conflict.
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