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Pakistan’s Khan urges dialog on Kashmir, warns India against military action

Pakistan’s Khan urges dialog on Kashmir, warns India against military action

Pakistan’s Khan urges dialog on Kashmir, warns India against military action
February 19
20:54 2019

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for dialog with India to ease tensions that were triggered days after a bomb attack claimed the lives of over 40 paramilitary troops in the disputed region of Kashmir.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Khan said Islamabad had nothing to do with the bombing. 

He said the Indian government had leveled allegations against Pakistan “without any evidence.” 

“My message to India is: Firstly, you laid the blame on Pakistan, without any evidence, without thinking what Pakistan was going to gain from the attack.”

“Why would Pakistan do such a thing at this stage, when it is moving towards stability after a 15-year war against terrorism, in which we lost 70,000 Pakistanis? Terrorism is going down, stability is returning. Peace is coming back. Why would we do such a thing? What do we gain from it?”

The Pakistani government, Khan said, was ready to cooperate with New Delhi in investigating the bombing.

“Today I make this offer to the Indian government. Whatever investigations you want to carry out in this connection, to find out if there was any Pakistani involvement in it, we are ready (to help). If you have any actionable intelligence of Pakistani involvement, give it to us. I guarantee that we will take action. Not because there is any pressure on us but because if anyone is using Pakistani soil for such activities, they are harming Pakistan. It is enmity with Pakistan. It is against our interest.”

Khan also warned that Pakistan will retaliate if India takes military action. “If you think that you will launch any kind of attack on Pakistan, Pakistan will not just think about retaliation, Pakistan will retaliate.”

A military convoy of Indian forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir came under attack on February 14. The assault was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group and was the worst in decades in the disputed valley, which is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but ruled partially by each.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed a strong response to the attack.

Also, the top Indian military commander in Kashmir has said Pakistan’s main spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), was involved in the attack.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.

Indian troops are in constant clashes with armed groups seeking Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them cross the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

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