The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday slammed the overtly threatening statements by India’s army chief calling for “surgical strikes” on Pakistani soil.
Indian army chief Bipin Rawat, handpicked by Narendra Modi’s right-wing government, had earlier said that the “time was ripe” for a “surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC)”.
In 2016, India claimed it conducted a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the claim was refuted by the Pakistan Army and an Indian soldier was captured.
FO Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, during the weekly briefing, said the chief of a professional army should refrain from making such controversial claims.
When asked about the opening of the Katarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, the FO spokesperson lamented India’s reluctance to dialogue.
Reiterating Pakistan’s stance to resolve outstanding issues through dialogue, Faisal said no decision can be made regarding the corridor if India does not agree for talks.
The FO spokesperson added that Pakistan held meetings with members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) – who were willing to come to Islamabad for the meeting. But, he added, India was creating hurdles in regards to Pakistan hosting the conference.
Briefing media on the current state of ties between Islamabad and Washington, Faisal said the relationship’s trajectory was positive. He added that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had put forth Pakistan’s stance in interaction with delegates at the UNGA.
“FM Qureshi categorically stated that Pakistan would not compromise on its national interest.”
Faisal said Pakistan was pursuing a policy of peace and believed dialogue was the only way forward to resolve disputes.