Pakistan foreign minister claims India planning military aggression

Pakistani soldiers stand next to what Pakistan says is the wreckage of an Indian fighter jet shot down in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir at Somani area in Bhimbar district near the Line of Control on Feb 27, 2019. (AFP pic)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday claimed his government had reliable intelligence that India was planning to carry out aggression against Pakistan between April 16 and 20.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours nose-dived after a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir in February killed 40 Indian security personnel and was later claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group.

Pakistan has denied any role in the attack and Prime Minister Imran Khan offered cooperation in the investigation if credible evidence was provided by India.

Talking to reporters in the southern city of Multan, Qureshi said the ambassadors of the permanent members of the UN Security Council in Islamabad had been informed about “the plan” two days ago.

“We have reliable intelligence that India has made a new scheme and the planning is underway and there are chances of another aggression against Pakistan and according to our information this action can take place between April 16 and 20,” he said.

“I am saying it with responsibility and I have a responsible position, I know each word I say would make headlines in the international press,” he said, stressing the reliability of his claim.

He said the planned aggression was aimed at “increasing diplomatic pressure against Pakistan”.

Days after the Kashmir bombing, New Delhi – which has long accused Islamabad of harbouring militants who launch attacks on its soil – demanded Pakistan take “credible and visible action”.

Soon after it launched a cross-border air raid on Pakistan that kicked off a quick succession of attacks and dogfights between the arch-rivals over the disputed Kashmir frontier that spurred fears of wider war erupting.

Pakistani and Indian soldiers have continued to fire over the Line of Control – the de-facto border dividing Kashmir, killing several civilians on both sides.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over it.