Pakistan PM: Imran Khan requesting ‘Peace of chance’ to PM Modi
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday asked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to “give peace a chance” and assured him that he “stands by” his words and will “immediately act” if New Delhi provides Islamabad with “actionable intelligence” on the Pulwama attack.
On Saturday, Modi had asked Prime Minister Khan to keep his word as a Pathan and fight poverty and illiteracy together with India instead of fighting each other. Khan today sought to reiterate Pakistan’s desire to see stability in the region, saying Modi should “give peace a chance”, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Khan’s remarks came a day after PM Modi’s rally in Rajasthan; Modi stated “There is consensus in the entire world against terrorism. We are moving ahead with strength to punish the perpetrators of terrorism… The scores will be settled this time, settle for good…This is a changed India, this pain will not be tolerated…We know how to crush terrorism.”
Recalling his conversation with Khan during a congratulatory call after he became Pakistan’s PM, Modi said he had told him “let us fight against poverty and illiteracy” and Khan gave his word, saying he is a Pathan’s son-but failed to keep his word.
Last week too, Khan assured India that he would act against those responsible for the Pulwama attack, carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, if it shares “actionable intelligence” with Islamabad, but warned New Delhi against launching any retaliatory action.
India said Khan’s offer to investigate the attack if provided proof is a “lame excuse”. “It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammed and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
At least 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on February 14 when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden car into their convoy. According to media reports, Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility for the attack but New Delhi immediately blamed Islamabad and threatened a retaliatory attack. It also announced that it would launch a diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan in the international community. Moreover, India scrapped the Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan and imposed a 200 per cent customs duty on its goods.
In response to India’s allegations, Prime Minister Khan promised to conduct an investigation if New Delhi provided “actionable evidence” but also warned that Pakistan will “retaliate” if attacked. On Friday, the Pakistan Army also warned India to avoid “any misadventure”, as it could have dangerous consequences.