ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to respond to India at its own choice of a time and a place, the National Security Council (NSC) meeting concluded on Tuesday which was convened to combat the recent spike in tensions between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India after Indian Air Force (IAF) violated Pakistan’s airspace and the Line of Control (LOC).
Moreover, the meeting strongly rejected India’s claim of striking at alleged terrorists camps inside Pakistan.
The statement issued after the meeting read “Pakistan strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot as well as the claim of heavy casualties. Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim.”
“This action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk. The claimed area of strike is open for the world to see the facts on ground. For this domestic and international media is being taken to the impact site. Forum concluded that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing.”
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan presided over the meeting in Islamabad which lasted more than three hours.
Importantly, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and other senior officials of armed forces, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Finance Minister Asad Umar also participated in the meeting.
The meeting strongly denouncing India’s false claims of carrying out a preemptive strike on terrorist camps inside Pakistan concluded that India has pushed the entire region towards instability for the sake of upcoming general elections.
Furthermore, it has been decided to convene a joint parliamentary session on the matter to take opposition in confidence and express unity in terms of the country’s defence.
Moreover, the PM appreciated a quick response by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and has also summoned a meeting of National Command Authority tomorrow.
The meeting also decided to raise the issue on international forums.
The meeting also shared armed forces’ preparedness in responding to Indian aggression on the LOC.
In a statement amid rising border tensions with India, Qureshi warned India of severe consequences, geopolitical ramifications and such moves could aggravate the already simmering tension between both countries.
“Pakistan reserves the right to self-defence and respond to such aggression,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor confirmed that the IAF had “violated the LoC”.
He said that as Indian planes had intruded from Muzaffarabad, and the Pakistan Air Force “immediately scrambled”.
“Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad sector within Azad Jammu and Kashmir was three to four miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal, aircrafts released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties,” he added.