In its first statement a week after 40 CRPF men were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, the Pakistan Army on Friday said whenever the country moves towards stability, “staged incidents” are reported from Kashmir or other parts of India, Dawn reported.
Toeing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s line, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said while the military didn’t want a war, it had a right to respond to “war threats” from the Indian side.
“Right after the attack, India started raining accusations on Pakistan without thinking and without any evidence. We are not preparing for war. It’s you (India) who is sending war threats. We’re not preparing for initiating a war but we have a right to respond to the war threats from your side,” Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said.
Washing its hands of the Pulwama attack, Ghafoor pointed out that the incident happened at a time when general elections were around the corner in India and the freedom struggle in Kashmir was at its peak.
“There is an election campaign in India, and the freedom struggle in Kashmir is at its peak and out of India’s hands. What benefit would Pakistan get from the Pulwama attack? I will leave it to you to judge who is benefiting from all this,” he said.
The Pakistan Army spokesperson said that rather than blaming the neighbouring country for the attack, India needed to introspect why its youth had taken the path of violence since the Pulwama incident was carried out by a local Kashmiri. Interestingly, the Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack by local resident Adil Dar.
“How can it be that any person from Pakistan can cross the LoC and go into an area where security forces’ population is greater than the local population? You should ask your security forces, you spend so much on defence, how did it happen? The attack happened miles away from the border, the explosives were local, the car used was local and the attack too was carried out by a Kashmiri youth,” Ghafoor said.