ISLAMABAD - Foreign Office Wednesday refuted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s baseless rhetoric against Islamabad during his visit to Held Kashmir the other day.
Tasneem Aslam, spokesperson of the FO, said press reports of Modi’s accusations about proxy war against New Delhi are most unfortunate, especially as the leadership of Pakistan wishes to establish good neighbourly relations with India.
“Having lost the lives of 55,000 of its citizens as a result of terrorism; Pakistan is the biggest victim of the menace. The entire world has, time and again, acknowledged Pakistan’s unprecedented sacrifices, rendered by our valiant armed forces with over 5,000 soldiers having embraced Shahadat,” she said in a media release. Tasneem said, “Our armed forces remain ready to defend the country’s borders and thwart any threat of aggression”.
She further said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India in May was a continuation of this spirit which generated a fresh momentum in the bilateral relationship.
“It would be in the larger interest of the regional peace that instead of engaging in a blame game, the two countries should focus on resolving all issues through dialogue and work together to promote friendly and cooperative relations,” the spokesperson added.
AFP adds: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused Pakistan of waging a ‘proxy war’ in Occupied Kashmir. India’s Hindu nationalist leader made the remarks on Tuesday shortly before visiting Kargil, a remote area of Kashmir that was the scene of a deadly conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours in 1999. Pakistan’s foreign ministry said Modi was “repeating baseless rhetoric against Pakistan”, in a statement released on Wednesday, and urged Delhi to adopt a more constructive approach.
“The press reports of Indian accusations, at the highest political level, are most unfortunate,” the statement said, stressing Pakistan’s desire for “good neighbourly relations”.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which both claim the region in full but administer separate partial areas. The neighbours have fought two of their three wars over its control.
Fighting between Indian forces and rebel groups seeking independence for Kashmir or a merger of the territory with Pakistan has killed tens of thousands since 1989, mostly civilians.
Modi’s visit came a day after Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat over a cross-border firing incident near Sialkot at the foot of the Kashmir hills, which the foreign ministry said killed at least one civilian.
THREE KILLED IN IHK ATTACK
Unidentified attackers killed two police officers and a civilian Wednesday in an ambush in Indian-held Kashmir a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the disputed region.
The attack occurred late in the evening when a senior police officer travelling in his official vehicle along with two other officers was fired upon from both sides of the road in Galander, just outside Srinagar.
“The civilian and a policeman succumbed to their injuries,” a police statement said.
“The other policeman died in the hospital later,” a police officer who declined to be identified, as he was not authorised to speak to media, told AFP.
He said four to five attackers who had laid the ambush fled the scene and government forces were on a hunt for them.