ISLAMABAD - President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi gave a stern warning to India Thursday saying that any attempt to carry out a false flag operation in Kashmir will be met with an equal and befitting response. President Alvi further asserted India will never succeed in making occupied Kashmir a part of its territory.

In an exclusive interview with the Nawa-i-Waqt Group at the Presidency, President Alvi predicted that India is driving its Muslim population to a strong reaction due to its policy of hatred and marginalization.

The panel interview was conducted by Salman Masood, Editor, The Nation, Javed Siddique, the Islamabad resident editor of Nawa-i-Waqt, and Maqbool Malik, Islamabad chief reporter of The Nation. This was the first interview of President Dr. Alvi to print media on the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir since BJP regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced changes to annex the disputed territory last August.

President Alvi said that Pakistan has successfully managed to extricate itself from the forces of extremism while India is falling into the same pitfalls. He said the BJP government led by Narendra Modi has fanned the fire of communal and religious hatred in India in such a manner that now it is deeply ingrained within the Indian population.

The prejudice against Muslims in India is spread with such clarity now that there is no doubt about it anymore, President Alvi said. He said that a lot of people, who earlier believed in secular India, were now disillusioned and disappointed. “Some of my relatives in India believed in a secular India. They used to argue with me that India will be peaceful under the banner of secularism. But secularism is finished in India. I think this is stamped for thirty years. Indian opposition parties will find it very hard to take a contrary stance under the force of Hindutva.”

India is using the shelter of Covid-19 to further its nefarious Hindutva ideology, President Alvi added.  “A similar instance was after Sept 2001 attacks in the U.S.,  which gave India and Israel the opportunity to suppress the genuine struggles of Muslims. Even those movements that had the approval of the United Nation under the principle of

 the right of self-determination were suppressed. Now, after Covid-19 health crisis, India has got a temporary respite,” Dr. Alvi said.

“But it is a temporary respite as I am predicting that the Muslims in India will not be able to tolerate the mistreatment and marginalisation anymore,” President Alvi said. “The Muslims are not in a small number in India. They make up 12 to 15 percent of the population. Islam allows a struggle against injustice. I don’t mean a violent struggle but a struggle.”

“I have apprehension  —  and I don’t want it to happen — but it is possible that if the Indian government doesn’t respond to the plight of the Indian Muslims then the Indian Muslims can turn to violence. India is driving its Muslim population towards that possibility,” the President said.

The President of Pakistan said that India has conducted a lot of false flag operations in the past and is expected to do the same again.

When asked if Pakistani authorities had any specific intelligence about a false flag operation, President Alvi said, “It is a logical conclusion of their actions. I am not sure if there is intelligence information regarding that. But there is a pattern. Indian generals give some statements accusing Pakistan, and then any incident that happens, real or cooked up in India, becomes the basis for a false flag operation.”

“We have a very mischievous government on our (eastern) border,” President Alvi said.

But he added that after the 2019 Balakot airstrikes, Indian brinkmanship was successfully matched by the Pakistani response. “We showed to them that we have the capability to chink the heavy Indian armour.”

President Alvi said India was taking lessons from Israeli playbook in its attempt to change the demography inside Kashmir. But he expressed hope that such an attempt will remain unsuccessful as history shows that no nation can be subjugated by force.

“There is no question that India can annex Kashmir. No nation can be subdued by force. Kashmir will never become a part of India,” President Alvi said.

The President of Pakistan said that the Kashmir crisis has taken a new dimension due to the Indian atrocities after the revocation of the special status given to the occupied Kashmir. “In 55 years, the Kashmir issue was not discussed in the UN Security Council. But in the last one year, Kashmir was discussed three times.”

President Alvi said he hoped that the strong voices of criticism coming out from the Middle Eastern countries against the treatment of Muslims in India can add to the pressure on India.

“The strong voices in the Middle East against the Indian atrocities must translate into supplanting of the Indian labor with Pakistani labor. It is more secure for them also,” President Alvi said.

The President lauded the efforts of the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan by playing counter brinkmanship to India which is not being digested by the BJP regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan played smart to defuse and deescalate flare-up last year after Pakistan shot down two Indian jet fighters. The government released the captured Indian pilot, which was a diplomatic coup,” the President asserted.

President Alvi said media can play a very important role in highlighting the Kashmir issue. “We need to unmask the ugly face of India at every forum. India has not lost any opportunity to malign Pakistan in the past. There is no forum where India has not played a dirty role,” he said. “We need to be truthful and tell the world the  reality behind the ‘Shining India’, ‘Secular India’ slogans.”

President Alvi said Pakistan has given huge sacrifices while hosting the Afghan refugees on its soil for decades. He expressed disappointment that Afghan leadership has not reciprocated the Pakistani gestures and have praised India more on international forums.

While commenting on relations with Iran, President Alvi said recently there was “positivity in relations with Iran.”

The President also spoke about the situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic and steps being taken by the government to minimize its impact in Pakistan. He called for adopting stricter preventive measures by the citizens to contain the spread of the deadly virus.