Pakistan: Breaking his silence on the February 14 attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror outfit, Khan made a televised address, claiming that there was “no evidence” about Pakistan link and that India was being “judge, jury and executioner”.
Khan, without condemning the ghastly attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, said Pakistan is ready to discuss the issue of terrorism as insisted by India and that a war is no solution.
“I want to tell India, we are ready for any kind of investigation. If there is any actionable intelligence, give it to us, I guarantee that we will take action,” the Pakistan Prime Minister said.
His statement came against the backdrop of the US and several other countries demanding that Pakistan must take action against JeM and other terror groups based in Pakistan.
Khan claimed that his government will take action, “not because Pakistan is under pressure” but “because if anybody is using Pakistani soil for terrorism, they are our enemies” and “it is in our interest” to act against them.
The suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama area of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, in which 40 personnel were killed, was claimed by JeM in a statement.
While being in a denial mode, the Pakistan Prime Minister said, “Why will Pakistan do it (engineer a terror attack in India), when we are trying to stabilise Pakistan, when we have lost so many lives to terrorism? What benefit will Pakistan get?”
Khan, who took over as Prime Minister in August six months back, claimed that the “naya (new) Pakistan” did not want anybody to use Pakistani soil for terrorism nor it wanted anybody else to indulge in terrorism from “outside”.
While insisting that Pakistan had nothing to do with the Pulwama terror attack, he took the plea that his country was preparing for the big visit of Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman which concluded yesterday and “only a mad man will do anything like that (plan terror attack) to sabotage” the visit.
Advocating dialogue, he said India has maintained that there cannot be any talks except on terrorism. “I want to say, we are ready to discuss even terrorism. Terrorism is a problem for the entire region. We want terrorism to end in the region,” he added.
“I want to ask the Indian government, do you want to be stuck in the past and blame Pakistan for everything? … Instead of moving forward and having dialogue, Pakistan is made a whipping boy,” he claimed.
Noting that the Indian media and politicians have been talking about “revenge” in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, Khan said, “Which law of the world gives you the right to be the judge, the jury and the executioner?… If you think of military action against Pakistan, Pakistan will not think of retaliating but will retaliate. Pakistan will have no choice but to retaliate, to respond.”
Khan went on to add, “It is your (India’s) election year and we understand you (Modi government) will get a big boost if you teach Pakistan a lesson… But where will it lead to? It is in the hands of humans to start a war but to end a war is not in the hands of the humans.”
He said “war is no solution” and in the end, there has to be a dialogue.
“I hope better sense will prevail,” the Pakistan Prime Minister added.
He said even with regard to Afghanistan, it has been realised after 17 years of war that military action is not a solution and matters can be resolved only through a dialogue.
“There should be a new thinking in India, an introspection,” he said.