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Pakistan will respond to India’s act of aggression: Shah Mehmood

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan will respond to India’s act of aggression, after the Pakistan Air Force in a timely response repelled Indian aircraft which violated the Line of Control (LoC) earlier today.

Addressing a joint press conference with the ministers of defense and finance following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council in the wake of India’s LoC violation, Qureshi read out a handout released after the meeting stating that Pakistan has rejected India’s claims of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and heavy casualties.

“The action has been done for domestic consumption given the election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk. The forum concluded that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” Qureshi read out.

The foreign minister informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a special meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) — which oversees the operational command and control of the country’s nuclear arsenals — on Wednesday (tomorrow).

He also shared that the government has decided to requisition a joint session of the Parliament, and a three-member committee comprising himself, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Finance Minister Asad Umar will consult with the Parliament on the matter.

Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they intruded from the Muzaffarabad sector but were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said early Tuesday.

The incursion into the Pakistani air space follows a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership after the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.

In a strongly-worded statement to the media, Qureshi said Pakistan will take international media to the site of the incident so that the journalists can uncover Indian propaganda.
“It has been decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan will engage the international leadership,” the foreign minister said, adding that on Pakistan’s request an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has been summoned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where Pakistan’s point of view will be presented.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, addressing the briefing, said the Indian aircraft dropped their payload some four to five kilometers inside the LoC.

“[The incident] happened in the night-time. There are some things we cannot make public. But there will be a response [from Pakistan],” Khattak said.

A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier decided to raise the issue of India’s violation of the LoC at international forums.

The meeting was attended by the top civil and military leadership, including Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and ministers of defense and foreign affairs.

It was decided that the matter of Indian LoC violation will be immediately raised at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the United Nations and with friendly countries.



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