Multan - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said yesterday that armed forces needed to be alert because Modi government could make another misadventure against Pakistan before Indian elections conclude on May 19.

Talking to media here yesterday, he said, “Our airbases and borders are on alert to thwart any Indian aggression. Following Indian attack on February 26, we have made it quite clear to the world that we are fully capable of retaliating to any aggression. But we don’t want war with India. We want peace.”

He said the armed forces and nation were fully prepared to thwart any foreign aggression.

Qureshi said the country was passing through a very critical juncture as conspiracies were being hatched against Pakistan. He added that planning of invasion of a foreign country was being made as some foreign powers could not tolerate Pakistan.

“Powers working against Pakistan can harm our economy and we have to defend our ideology, our assets and national exchequer in this situation.

We will give a matching response to anyone challenging us. If anyone cast an evil eye on Pakistan, we have the capacity to gouge their eyes out.”

He said that nation would celebrate 23rd March with a renewed pledge this year and the world would receive a message of solidarity from Pakistan.

Qureshi said the country came under debt worth Rs6,000 billion in 60 years but during last 10 years it came under burden of Rs30,000 billion debt.

The foreign minister maintained that former rulers brought the country under heavy debt.

Referring to Christchurch incident, he said it was a terror incident and nine Pakistanis were missing. He said the high commissioner was in contact with Pakistani community and he extended all out help to them in search of the missing persons.

He said the list of injured contained name of just one Pakistani and officials would fully cooperate with the families of those who embraced martyrdom in Christchurch.

Qureshi said Islamophobia in Europe was on the rise and Prime Minister Imran Khan had also declared the Christchurch incident as terrorism.

He said the killer had fixed a camera in his helmet to broadcast the massacre to the world and this act reflected mentality of Islamophobic Europeans.

He disclosed that a delegation of Pakistan was currently in talks with India on the opening of Kartarpur Border. Qureshi added that another meeting on the same issue would take place on April 2. He further revealed that he was going to China on a three-day visit for de-escalation with India.

Qureshi said the situation at LoC was under control and world took the release of Indian pilot as a positive step by Pakistan. The foreign minister said Turkey, UAE and Saudi Arabia played key role in de-escalation with India and Pakistan was thankful to these countries for their support.

“India dubbed Pulwama attack a terror incident but our viewpoint is that the local residents carried out this attack against denial of right to self-determination. He claimed that a solid debate took place in OIC meeting on Kashmir.

“For the first time, Indian state terrorism was mentioned during a meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Countries (OIC) which was a big achievement.”

He said India denied Kashmiris their basic rights by using special laws. It was because of Pakistan’s successful foreign policy that members of European Parliament also talked about Kashmir.

Replying to a question regarding Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is imprisoned in the United States, Qureshi rejected rumours circulating about her release.

“There is no credibility in the news circulating regarding Dr Aafia’s release. Social media will have to act responsibly over sensitive issues,” the foreign minister stressed.

“People and members of her family should refrain from spreading such rumours.” He declared that Pakistan’s progress in Masood Azhar case would be secret and responsible, adding that he could not talk on this issue.

Qureshi said China had vetoed resolutions against Pakistan in the past and the countries with veto power had more influence on the UNO.

He disclosed that Russia was ready to play a mediatory role on Kashmir and Pakistan welcomed this wish.

The foreign minister said that if PTI could return to power in KP by performing well, the nation should stay aware that it would not disappoint people in the centre and Punjab too.

He said the poor and middle class segments of the country were with Pakistan because they were sincere with the country.

He added that the poor and middle class could not buy properties abroad with the money looted from the country. Shah said he was aware of the importance of lady health workers and he would convey their demands to the Punjab government.

He said he was also aware of the demands and responsibilities of APCA and he would talk to the finance ministry as their lawyer.