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Give peace a chance: Imran Khan

25 February, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday reiterated his earlier stance regarding the Pulwama incident that if India gives actionable intelligence, Pakistan will immediately act.

The prime minister, in response to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s comments during a public meeting in Tonk, Rajasthan, on Saturday, urged him to ‘give peace a chance’.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan stands by his words,” PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. “In my meeting with PM Modi in December 2015, we had agreed that since poverty alleviation is a priority for our region, we would not allow any terrorist incident to derail peace efforts, however long before Pulwama, these efforts were derailed in September 2018. Sadly, now peace remains elusive due to elections in India,” the press release quoted the prime minister as saying.

On Saturday, Modi had asked Prime Minister Khan to keep his word as a Pathan and fight poverty and illiteracy together with India instead of fighting each other.

Tensions between Pakistan and India grew after a suicide attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying paramilitaries in Indian-held Kashmir which killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel earlier this month. Responsibility of the attack in Pulwama district was claimed by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which India alleges is based in Pakistan. Islamabad has strongly denied the charges.

In a televised address following the attack, Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned India against any misadventure, saying Pakistan will not think but immediately retaliate to any aggression. “If Indians believe that they can launch an attack on Pakistan, they should understand that Pakistan will not think to retaliate … it will retaliate immediately, as there is no other option,” he had said. The prime minister had also reminded India to give new thinking and introspection to the grave situation in the occupied valley and ponder as to why Kashmiri youths had gone to such an extent by completely discarding fears of death.

Later at a meeting of the National Security Committee, Prime Minister Imran Khan had authorised the armed forces of Pakistan to respond ‘decisively’ and ‘comprehensively’ to any aggression or misadventure by India. “The forum noted that Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in the said incident. The incident was conceived, planned and executed indigenously,” a press release issued by the PM Office after the meeting had said.

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