Pakistan tells India to keep it out of her home politics

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Monday has asked India to keep it out of her internal politics and electoral debate, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Islamabad of influencing Gujarat state polls.

Modi, while addressing a weekend rally in Gujarat, referred to a Facebook post by the former Pakistan army officer Sardar Arshad Rafiq in favour of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel as the next Gujarat chief minister.

Modi also attacked Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for his “neech aadmi” (low-class man) jibe at him, and claimed it proved Pakistan’s interference.

“There were media reports about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” the Indian PM claimed.

He alleged that Aiyar had discussed a supari (contract) to remove Modi from the scene to end the Pakistan-India deadlock.

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal took to Twitter, and said India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate, and “win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible.”

In his tweet, the FO spokesperson said electoral victories should come through one’s own strength rather than “fabricated conspiracies”.

Pakistan and Indian politicians routinely accuse each other of being “agents” of the either country during election campaigns.

General elections in Pakistan are expected after mid-2018 as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led government will complete its five-year-term in June 2018.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has accused ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif of being Modi’s “friend” and of having “business interests” in India.

Earlier, the foreign office spokesperson said Pakistan wanted to resolve all issues with India through a dialogue process but India had been discouraging talks.

He said Pakistan had repeatedly raised its concerns about the hegemonic conduct of India, including the unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations this year by Indian forces at the Working Boundary and the Line of Control in an attempt to deflect the attention of the international community from the continuing Indian atrocities in held Kashmir.

“In 2017, more than 1,300 Indian ceasefire violations, the highest ever in the recent past, resulted in 52 deaths and 175 injured. We have consistently stressed that Indian aggression is a threat to regional peace and tranquillity,” the spokesperson said. 

Faisal said Pakistan’s principled position on Kashmir dispute was very clear and consistent.

“We maintain that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute is through the realisation of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris by a free, fair and transparent plebiscite under the auspices of the UN,” he added.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been high since the killing of a Kashmiri freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, in July last year.

An attack on Indian forces in September 2016 – that killed 19 soldiers in Uri area of held Kashmir – further heightened the tensions.

Later, India started violations at the LoC that left people dead on both sides.

India also claimed it had carried a “surgical strike” to avenge the Uri attack.

Pakistan rejected the claim.

Pakistan has been trying to engage India in dialogue to defuse tension but India is defiant to stay away from the talks.

New Delhi is also not ready to discuss Kashmir, the core issue between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

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