Despite Indian war hysteria in the wake of last week’s militant attack on an Indian military base in occupied Kashmir, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit has ruled out possibility of an armed conflict between the two hyphenated but hostile neighbours.
“I strongly believe Pakistan and India do not gain anything from creating hype. War is not a solution, war creates more problems,” Basit said in an interview with Telegraph India on Sunday.
Eighteen Indian troops were killed by four militants in the attack on an Army Brigade Headquarters in the Uri area near the Line of Control (LoC) on September 18. Hours after the attack, India’s civil and military leaders squarely blamed Pakistan with media commentators calling for a military response.
Later, Indian forces also started moving their light and heavy guns to the forward position along the LoC, triggering speculation about a possible showdown with Pakistani leadership also vowing to defend the country.
Talking in connection with the emerging situation, Basit said Pakistan and India should not allow war hysteria to dominate their narratives.
“We can perhaps afford not to talk to each other for some time, but addressing our many bilateral, regional and global challenges can only happen through dialogue. I am not ready to give up on that.”
He said investigations are ongoing into what really happened in Uri so it is important not to draw premature conclusions.
He said Pakistan had extended all out cooperation after January’s Pathankot attack on an airbase in Indian Punjab and things were moving in the right direction till July 8 when Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani was killed by security forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK).
“Both the countries could prevent the situation from worsening, if the spirit was maintained,” he said, adding that Pakistan believed that issues should be resolved only through peaceful means and there is no other way.
To a question, he made it clear that Pakistan had nothing to do with the Uri attack as it was committed to not allowing its territory to be used for violence anywhere in the world.
Basit said both countries had agreed that there was a long-pending issue of Jammu and Kashmir, needing resolution. “It is important to understand what keeps bedeviling our relationship and what keeps bringing mistrust between us. We feel it is imperative not to shy away from addressing the Kashmir dispute,” he said.
FO responds to Modi
The Foreign Office on Sunday said India, in its desperation, is trying to divert world attention from the atrocities perpetrated by its forces in the disputed territory.
Reacting to Indian premier Narendra Modi’s Saturday’s speech, the FO spokesperson said it was unfortunate that India continued to indulge in a ‘well thought out’ vilification campaign against Pakistan.
“Such irresponsible display of behaviour at the highest political level is regrettable,” the spokesperson said in a statement.