Pakistan PM warns India against attack, urges Kashmir blast talks

ISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan would retaliate if India were to attack in response to a bombing in the Kashmir region, which India blamed on Pakistan, while adding he wanted to cooperate in investigating the blast.
Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours has risen sharply over the killing in Kashmir on Thursday of 40 Indian paramilitary police in a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.
Pakistan has denied any involvement and called for UN intervention. In a televised address to the nation, Khan noted the calls in India for revenge and said he hoped “better sense will prevail”.
“If you think that you will launch any kind of attack on Pakistan, Pakistan will not just think about retaliation, Pakistan will retaliate,” Khan said. “And after that where will it head?”
Khan reiterated that Pakistan had nothing to do with the bomb attack and said it was ready to take action against anyone found to be behind it.
“If you have any actionable intelligence that Pakistanis are involved, give that to us, I guarantee you that we will take action,” Khan said.
Khan said his country had changed.
“I am telling you clearly that this is new Pakistan. This is a new mind set, this is new thinking,” Khan said. “We want stability.”
The bomb attack was carried out by a 20-year-old man from a village in Kashmir. His parents said he had joined a militant group after being beaten by Indian troops three years ago.
The bomb attack has sparked outrage in India with calls for revenge circulating on social media, and rising animosity towards Kashmiris in other parts of the country, to the alarm of rights groups.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan appealed to the United Nations to intervene, in light of deteriorating security. “Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres seeking UN involvement to lower tension.
“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” he said. — Reuters