As India conducts strikes in Myanmar, Pakistan cautions against cross-border 'adventurism'
Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership on Wednesday warned against any “adventurism” by India in the aftermath of a rare cross-border strike by Indian troops inside Myanmar, saying Islamabad is prepared to mount a “befitting response”.
Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and top military commanders responded to Indian minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore’s remarks that the raid by special forces against militants inside Myanmar was a message to Pakistan and groups “harbouring terror intent towards India”.
Khan said India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar. Those who harboured “bad intentions” towards Pakistan should open their eyes and ears, he added.
“The Pakistan Army is fully capable of responding to any adventurism,” he said.
A conference of formation commanders chaired by army chief Gen Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi took “serious notice of the recent Indian hostile rhetoric coupled with covert and overt actions to destabilise Pakistan”, said a statement from the military’s media arm.
The commanders resolved to “defeat their designs and defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan at any cost with a befitting response to any misadventure against our country”, the statement added.
“None should dare to cast an evil eye on Pak,” chief military spokesperson Maj Gen Asim Bajwa said in a tweet.
Hours before the response from the civil and military leadership, Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs and national security, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks about Islamabad promoting terrorism had vitiated the atmosphere and contributed to “shrinking the constituency for peace”.
He made the remarks in the Senate or upper house of parliament while reacting to Modi’s remarks in Bangladesh.
Pakistan, he said, will take up with the world community India’s “interference in former East Pakistan” and its “policy of destabilising Pakistan through terrorism”.
During his visit to Bangladesh, Modi launched a blunt attack on Pakistan on Sunday, accusing it of creating "nuisance" and constantly troubling India by promoting terrorism. He also pledged to work with Bangladesh to combat terrorism in the region.
While making a statement in the Senate, Aziz said the Pakistan government had taken note of Modi’s remarks in Bangladesh that “acknowledged Indian government’s involvements in the events of 1971 in the then Eastern Province of Pakistan”.
“Such statements not only vitiate the atmosphere, put a question mark on India’s sincerity to establish good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, but also contribute towards shrinking the constituency for peace by negatively affecting the public perception,” he said.
Aziz said the “open admission” of what he described as “India’s active involvement against Pakistan’s territorial integrity at the highest political level point to the past and present subversive role played by its intelligence agencies in destabilising Pakistan”.
He said Modi’s remarks should be seen in conjunction with Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s comments about “neutralising terrorism with terrorism”.