Islamabad - After patiently watching India taking reactionary steps for some days, Pakistan yesterday gave a fitting and comprehensive response on the post-Pulwama attack situation.

In an honest and open nationally televised address, Prime Minister Imran Khan advised New Delhi to rethink its relationship with Islamabad, offering solid foundation for building durable bridges.

Assuring India that the ‘New Pakistan’ under his leadership was trustworthy, he offered the neighbouring country help in the investigation of the recent suicide bombing in Kashmir.

In a major shift in Islamabad’s position regarding priority of Pak-India talks’ agenda, Khan told India that if this is not just an excuse to avoid dialogue, Islamabad was ready to talk terrorism – because it was as much an issue of concern for Pakistan as any other country of the region.

However, giving example of Afghanistan, the premier urged India to understand that Kashmiris could never be forced into submission through use of brutal force. The prime minister made it clear that his generous offers were not a result of any pressure but noble intention. He also warned that if India’s warmongering leads the two nuclear countries into a war then it will be a rollercoaster ride to destruction, resulting in irreversible damage on an unimaginable scale.

All the opposition parties of Pakistan appreciated the prime minister’s extending olive branch to India, urging New Delhi to seize this rare opportunity for peace in the larger interest of the millions of people of both countries.

Indian response

India in its first response to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer chose not to welcome it with an open mind. Hours after Imran Khan’s address, the Indian government on Tuesday demanded that Pakistan take “credible and visible action” over the suicide attack.

Imran “has neither chosen to condemn this heinous act nor condoled with the bereaved families”, said a statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

“The prime minister of Pakistan has offered to investigate the matter if India provides proof. This is a lame excuse,” the statement said.

Full text of PM address

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his response to Inida’s reaction to Pulwama attack said:

“I had wanted to respond to the Pulwama attack right away because Delhi had accused Pakistan of having a hand in the attack, but we had a very important visit from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, we had an investment conference planned, that we had been planning for a long time. “Therefore, I decided not to respond immediately, because the attention would have been diverted from the visit onto this issue. That’s why I am responding now, that the Crown Prince has left. This message is for the Indian government.

“First of all, you accused Pakistan without any evidence. You never thought: What would Pakistan gain out of this attack?