Reacting to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s “neutralise terrorist through terrorist” remark, the Pakistan defence establishment has alleged that the statement is not just an off- the-cuff remark but reflects India’s strategy to “support terrorism to teach a lesson to a peace- loving smaller neighbour (Pakistan)”.
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Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the publicity wing of Pakistan armed forces, has in the latest issue of its in- house propaganda magazine Hilal stated that the Indian Defence Minister’s comments add a “new dimension” to the existing “low intensity conflict threat” their country has been dealing with.
“Of late, statements by Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about sponsoring terrorism as a state policy against Pakistan clearly points towards a new threat dimension. It is the addition of low intensity conflict to the existing conventional threat. The use of phrase like kante se kanta nikalna and supporting terrorism to teach a lesson to Pakistan should not be taken as a spontaneous overflow of political verbosity but manifestation of well planned and executed aggressive strategy towards a smaller neighbour,” the editorial note of Hilal’s June 2015 issue has said.
The magazine, which lists Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, chief spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces as its patron-in-chief, has further claimed that while Pakistan is a “peace-loving” state, its “traditional rival” India has boosted its military potential over the last decade and has been carrying out capability development aiming at “Pakistan centric military build-up”. The note has said that Pakistan is maintaining minimum credible deterrence against India, citing that Pakistan has a relatively small budgetary spending on defence—Rs 700 billion against India’s $ 45 billion.
Speaking at a media event in the Capital, Parrikar had on May 22 said, “If any country, why Pakistan, is planning something against my country, I will take proactive steps…Whether it is diplomatic, whether it is pressure tactics or whether it is using the…kaante se kaanta nikaalte hain…you have to neutralise terrorist through terrorist only.” Reacting to the statement, Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the Pakistan PM on Foreign Affairs had on May 23 said, “This statement only confirms Pakistan’s apprehensions about India’s involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. It must be the first time that a minister of an elected government openly advocates use of terrorism in another country on the pretext of preventing terrorism from that country or its non-state actors”.