‘Indian Threats an Attempt to Sabotage’ Afghan Peace Process

ISLAMABAD — Islamabad has strongly reacted to India’s threats of conducting air strikes inside Pakistan, saying any aggression or misadventure by New Delhi will receive a befitting response.

Rejecting Indian home minister’s rhetoric against Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed them an attempt to sabotage Afghan peace process.

On Sunday, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and US commander of foreign troops in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, is said to have met with the Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Baradar in Doha “…to review the implementation of a peace deal…aimed at ending nearly two decades of Afghan conflict”, according to VOANews.

After his meeting in Doha with Taliban leaders, the report say, Khalilzad traveled to Islamabad, where he met with Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. A military statement said the Afghan political reconciliation process, Pakistan’s efforts to boost security at its long border with Afghanistan, and the presence of nearly 3 million Afghan refugees on Pakistani soil came under discussion.

Both sides credited the Eid cease-fire with the progress while taking note of an accelerated prisoner swap and reduced violence ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations.

The leader of the Taliban during the ceasefire had said that his group was committed to a landmark deal with the US, despite being accused of carrying out hundreds of attacks in Afghanistan since it was signed in February.

Haibatullah Akhunzada had urged Washington “not to waste” the opportunity offered by the deal to end the US’s longest war, according to Aljazeera.

Pakistan has been playing an active role in the peace process and maintains that enduring stability in the region requires international support and will.

The latest China-India standoff in Ladakh — in the occupied Himalayan Valley, raised concerns a few notch.

Qureshi questioned why Indian media kept silence over Ladakh issue and why India is reluctant to conduct surgical strike in Ladakh.

The Pakistani FO said Indian leadership was issuing threatening statements against Islamabad to divert global attention. He pointed out the “worsening internal situation” and grave human rights violations in occupied Kashmir for Delhi’s threats.

Speaking earlier with DesPardes, a senior Pakistani defense official said PM Modi’s BJP-led government considers another false flag or military adventure as the “Go To” option. His views dovetail PM Khan’s and Gen. Bajwa’s earlier statements on “false flag”.

With the latest statement from its foreign office, the country’s civil-military has upped its stance on chances of another “false flag” from its eastern neighbor.

“I think they [India] should also remember the swift and effective response that the misadventure Indian forces received last February from Pakistan…,” the Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in her statement.

Last week, Islamabad announced establishment of a dedicated Public Diplomacy Consultative Group comprising eminent scholars, field specialists and former ambassadors, to consult and advise the country’s foreign minister on various aspects of public diplomacy.

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