Pakistan is well aware of the Indian media’s singular mindset to pretend as if the state narrative on the other side of the border is objective truth. The constant attempts to malign Pakistan, call it a terror state and act as if India is the perfect example of an exemplary democracy are all common elements from journalists that have completely bowed down to the state’s narrative.

However, when lacking ammunition, Indian hawks have now decided to make up stories in the hopes of drumming up allegations against us. This last week, Ayaz Sadiq’s statement accusing the Foreign Minister of being scared of Indian retaliation was a misplaced outburst that was picked up by the Indian side with gleeful exuberance.

Any rational political observer can recognise a political statement when they see it. The way it was spun was unfortunate but also expected. But what Fawad Chaudhry said on the floor of the parliament—essentially a slip of the tongue—is also now being portrayed as admission of our involvement in a terror incident.

Anyone who takes the statement can clearly understand that Fawad Chaudhry meant to say “after Balakot” but instead said “after Pulwama”. But the way it is being received in India is as if this is the proof that they were waiting for all this while.

The Indian state and media must stop clutching at straws. Pakistan is, and will continue to be a peaceful state, unless our armed forces are called to defend national security; in that case, we will retaliate the way we did after Balakot, with swift and precise plans of action. India can continue chest-thumping and trying to peddle lies. If anyone wants to know where the Pakistan state stands, all they have to do is refer to the PM’s recent interview where he clarifies what he wants from the relationship with the US and India.