Islamabad reiterates resolve to continue to maintain peace with India

The Pakistan government on Monday reiterated its resolve to stay the course of peace with India despite the recent flare-up along the Line of Control (LoC). In the face of criticism from Opposition benches of sleeping through the crisis, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the National Assembly that Pakistan would not escalate the situation.

Briefing the National Assembly on the first day of its session on the incidents along the LoC, Ms. Khar said the situation needed to be de-escalated as war-mongering was not accepted as mature behaviour. Also, she pointed out that 60 years of blame game, war-mongering and escalation had not delivered anything to the people of either country. “If offering dialogue is sleeping, then we are sleeping,” she said.

‘Provocative statements’

Stating that there were discrepancies in the statements coming out of India on the LoC incidents and referring to Indian mainstream media narrative, the Minister said: “A successful and independent foreign policy does not mean emulating someone else’s behaviour. It does not mean to be reactive to somebody else’s irresponsible behaviour. It means to be proactive, to lead the way, to forge ahead on normalisation of relations with India and all of our neighbours for our own sake, for our own stability.”

Further, Ms. Khar said the government’s response was in keeping with the unanimous view of all political parties that relations with India should be normalised.

In turn, she insisted that Pakistan should be proud of the way the nation conducted itself in the face of “provocative statements” coming from India.

‘Give tit-for-tat’

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan demanded a befitting response from Pakistan to Indian propaganda.

Maintaining that his party — Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) — did not want war or sabre-rattling, he said the inertia shown by the government in responding to the Indian propaganda was worrying all.

In a related development, Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that all Indian fishermen arrested by Pakistan for straying into disputed waters would be released along with their boats after preliminary investigations as a goodwill gesture.