To Nirmala Sitharaman’s warning, Pakistan defence minister’s counter attack – ‘aggression won’t go unpunished’

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New Delhi | Updated: February 13, 2018 6:35:31 PM

Sunjuwan Military Camp attack: A day after India's defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman warned that Pakistan would have payback for the aggression, her counterpart in Islamabad today angrily reacted.

nirmala sitharaman pakistanUnion Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference at Tiger Division Satwari in Jammu on Monday. PTI Photo

Sunjuwan Military Camp attack: A day after India’s defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman warned that Pakistan would have to payback for the aggression, her counterpart in Islamabad today angrily reacted. Pakistan defence minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said Islamabad “will pay (back) India in its own coin in case of any misadventure.”

Sitharaman’s warning to Pakistan came on Monday after a group of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked the Sunjuwan Military Camp in Jammu on Saturday. As many as seven people, including six soldiers, were killed in the attack.

Addressing media, Sitharaman had said intelligence inputs suggested the terrorists were controlled by handlers from Pakistan. She said the terrorists were sponsored by Pakistan-based Jaish chief Azhar Masood. “Our intelligence inputs indicate that these terrorists were being controlled by their handlers from across the border,” she said, adding the “evidence” was being examined by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and details would be put in the public domain soon.

On Tuesday, Pakistan defence minister Khan said in a statement: “Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan.” He said this while referring to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of terrorism.

“Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country and any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure regardless of its scale, mode, or location will not go unpunished and shall be met with an equal and proportionate response,” the Dawn quoted Khan as saying.

Foreign Office said in the state said “familiar Indian tendency” putting blame on Pakistan, without evidence, is “regrettable”. “The Indian allegations are premature and inopportune, especially as India itself admits that the operation still continued and investigations had just started, when these comments were made,” a Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman was quoted as saying by PTI.

“We have repeatedly seen India arrogating to itself the role of judge, jury and executioner. The reflex assignment of blame and smear campaigns, based on unfounded allegations, carry no credibility,” the spokesman said. On Sitharaman, the official said he “tone” was “deplorable”.

“More deplorable is the threatening tone of the Indian comments that achieves nothing, but further vitiates the already tense environment marked by unprecedented ceasefire violations by India on the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary,” he said.

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