ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has revealed that India is planning another military attack against Pakistan in coming weeks, raising the spector of renewed hostilities between the two nuclear armed neighbours.
“We have reliable intelligence that between 16th and 20th April, India may carry out an attack against Pakistan,” disclosed the foreign minister at a news conference in his hometown Multan on Sunday.
Elaborating further, he said that India could stage a “Pulwama style” attack in Occupied Kashmir to use it as justification for its military adventure against Pakistan.
FM Qureshi said that he had consulted with Prime Minister Imran Khan and decided to make public the development in order to expose the Indian designs.
The purpose of such sinister plan is to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan, he added.
Pakistan is taking the intelligence of possible Indian aggression seriously as it has already reached out to the key world capitals on the development.
Two days ago, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua invited the ambassadors of five permanent members of the UN Security Council to share Islamabad’s concerns.
It is believed that the recent telephonic conversation between FM Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was initiated after the intelligence reports of renewed escalation in Indo-Pak tensions.
Pakistan and India were almost on the brink of war when in late February both countries launched tit for tat air strikes.
On February 26, Indian fighter jets crossed the Pakistani airspace for the first time since 1971 war. Pakistan scrambled its jets and forced Indian warplanes to drop their payload in the open in Balakot.
Indian government then claimed that it targeted the alleged terrorist camps of banned Jaish-e-Muhammad, which New Delhi said was behind the Pulwama attack.
Pakistan contested the Indian claim and very next day retaliated with air strikes but dropped the missile in open spaces just to convey the message that Indian military aggression would not go unpublished.
The Pakistani retaliation led to a dogfight between the two countries leaving two Indian warplanes downed and one of its pilots was captured by Pakistan.
India at the time claimed that it also shot down the Pakistan F16 fighter jet, though provided no verifiable evidence.
The Indian claim was resoundingly debunked by a recent report in a Foreign Policy, which quoted senior US Defence officials as saying that “no Pakistani F16 jet was missing”.
The expose came just days before Indian parliamentary polls, something that may dent Indian Prime Minister Modi’s credibility.
“That’s why we fear that India may orchestrate another Pulwama type attack and use it as justification for another military action against Pakistan,” said a senior foreign office official while requesting anonymity.
Given the delicate situation, Pakistan remained on alert to deal with any eventuality, he added.
FM Qureshi also said any Indian aggression will have serious consequences as Pakistan would be left with no other option but to respond in kind.