Pakistan wants peace, but will go to war if needed: Fawad


LAHORE: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that war is not an option, but Pakistan is ready to retaliate in a befitting manner if India opts for any misadventure or imposes a war on the country.

Addressing a press conference after his visit to Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CP&WB) here, he said that Pakistan had made all-out efforts to normalise relations with India, but it had not been reciprocated.

The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had once promised that Pakistan would take two steps towards peace if India takes one, adding that if India wanted peace, Pakistan would reciprocate. But if India wants to impose a war, we will fight back till the end.

The minister said that PM Imran’s visit to United States remained very successful and Pakistan’s diplomacy was moving forward in the right direction for the Kashmir cause.

He said that the premier’s upcoming address at the UN session would be of great importance, adding that either you support PM Imran or not, but no one could deny that he had an ability to put forward Pakistan’s stance effectively and efficiently.

To a question regarding the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Muslim bloc in the Kashmir dispute, Fawad said, “There is no Muslim bloc now”, adding that all Muslim countries are embroiled in conflicts. “Turkey is standing by Pakistan,” he said and added that the rest of Muslim countries would take decisions as per their own interests.

The minister said that there was disappointment in Pakistan over the award recently conferred upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), adding that the UAE was a friend of Pakistan and it should not forget that Pakistan played a crucial role in making Dubai what it is today, he added.

He said that the Kashmir issue was not only Pakistan’s problem but a global human rights issue.

Fawad said that the Indian government got panicked when President Trump, France and Britain spoke about Kashmir, as Modi did not want any international leader to discuss the Kashmir dispute. He said that while the international community discusses Kashmir, the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s (UNHRC) report on Kashmir also drew the world attention to the plight of Kashmiri Muslims.

“India turned Kashmir into a jail so that the international community could not know the situation in the held valley,” he said and added that after a long time, New York Times, BBC and other media organisations were reporting about Kashmir.

The minister said that India’s narrative of the Kashmir dispute being an internal matter was defeated when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called a session to discuss the issue.

Earlier, he appreciated the efforts of Child Protection Bureau for putting in place special measures for welfare of helpless children and said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif had not paid a single visit to the centre during his tenure as Punjab chief minister when he came to know that the initiative was taken by former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

He appealed to people to give donations to the Child Protection Bureau so that the helpless children could be rehabilitated, adding that people should discourage child beggary and adopt children from the bureau. He stressed the need for establishing such institution at division level as the children needed more care and attention.