‘Danger not over yet, Pak’s relations with India will be tense till Lok Sabha elections 2019’: Imran Khan

Updated on Mar 26, 2019 10:15 PM IST

PM Imran Khan has said he believes Pakistan’s relations with India will continue to be tense till the general elections in the neighbouring country, and Islamabad is prepared to counter “any aggression” because “the danger is not over”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(PTI file photo)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(PTI file photo)
Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmed

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he believes Pakistan’s relations with India will continue to be tense till the general elections in the neighbouring country, and Islamabad is prepared to counter “any aggression” because “the danger is not over”.

Khan made the remarks during a wide-ranging interaction with the media in Islamabad on Monday. Tensions between the two countries had spiked following a suicide attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary troops last month.

India retaliated for the Pulwama attack by conducting an air strike on a JeM base at Balakot in Pakistan, and this was followed by an aerial engagement along the Line of Control that resulted in the shooting down of an Indian jet fighter. The situation eased after Pakistan freed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the pilot of the downed jet.

According to a report in Dawn newspaper, Khan responded to a question about ties with India by saying: “The danger is not over. The situation will remain tense till forthcoming general elections in India. We are already prepared to avert any aggression from India.”

Khan said his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi was “trying to cash in on the anti-Pakistan narrative during his election campaign”, the report added.

He added there was no hope for improving relations with India at least until the elections. “Pakistan needs to be fully alert as threat by India is possible until their elections. The nation must not let down their guard,” he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Khan also said that though Modi had sent a message on Pakistan Day, which was observed on March 23, he was pushing ahead with “war hysteria”.

There was no immediate response to Khan’s remarks from Indian officials.

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