Aggression by India will receive ‘befitting response’: Pakistan foreign minister
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that any aggression by India will receive a “befitting response” as the country’s people and armed forces are always ready to respond to any Indian hostility.
State-run Radio Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying in a statement: “India’s bellicosity is aimed at provoking Pakistan, but we showed patience in the past and will exercise restraint in future too.”
However, the foreign minister made it clear Pakistan “reserved complete right to its defence”.
Qureshi said the Pakistan Army had downed an Indian drone on Wednesday, which “was an example of India aggression”. He didn’t give details or say where the drone was downed.
He added, “We prefer the path of peace but our desire for calm should not be misconstrued as our weakness.” Qureshi also gave a “clear message to India to act sensibly and live with peace”, according to Radio Pakistan.
There was no immediate response to Qureshi’s remarks from Indian officials. The immediate provocation for Qureshi’s comments also couldn’t be ascertained.
In recent weeks, both Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan have repeatedly targeted India over the situation in Kashmir and the treatment of India’s minorities. Khan even criticised India’s handling of a border row with Nepal in a tweet on Wednesday.
India has rejected such criticism by Khan and other Pakistani leaders as interference in the country’s internal affairs and called on Pakistan to address the issue of terrorism emanating from its soil.