Nawaz Tells Army To Pay Back India In Same Coin

10 October 2014
Daily Times
Asim Qadeer Rana

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked the army to employ a 'tit for tat' strategy against India over the recent unprovoked border shelling and firing by the neighbouring country. The National Security Committee, which met under the chairmanship of the prime minister on Friday, stated it was fully equipped to engage in a war against any power challenging the country's sovereignty, however, war should be avoided at all costs, as it just brings catastrophe and destruction. The NSC ruled out a war with India and added that Pakistan's armed forces are fully prepared to repulse any attack from the eastern neighbour. 'War with India isn't an option', however, the armed forces are fully equipped to repel any attack on the country's sovereignty, a statement issued by the office of the prime minister stated following the NSC meeting. According to insiders, Prime Minister Nawaz spoke highly of the armed forces and expressed confidence in their capabilities. 'During the meeting, not only he appreciated armed forces, but also directed the military establishment to use 'tit for tat' strategy against India,' a source told Daily Times. A source quoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying that the leadership of the two countries must feel responsibility to diffuse tension. ' He said it is the shared responsibility of the leadership of both countries to immediately defuse the situation. The National Security Committee, however, resolved that any attempt to challenge Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty will be responded with full force, Nawaz Sharif's office stated. The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif and senior military and civil officials. The meeting discussed the situation arising from unprovoked firing by the Indian security forces across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. The premier also deplored the loss of lives on the Pakistani side of the border as a result of Indian firing. The NSC noted with deep concern that the continuing ceasefire violations by Indian forces had led to the loss of precious lives and injuries to innocent people, including soldiers. The committee, however, made it clear that Pakistan's earnest desire for normalising bilateral relations and defusing the situation at the LoC should not be seen as a sign of weakness, it is in fact a sign of maturity and sincerity. The committee expressed the hope that both countries would respect the ceasefire agreement of 2003 and maintain tranquillity on the LoC and the WB, without indulging in blame-game and point-scoring. The committee expressed the resolve that any attempt to challenge Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty will be responded with full force. The armed forces assured the National Security Committee that they are fully prepared to deal with any adversity at the borders. Any further escalation will only complicate the environment for meaningful discussion on the Kashmir issue and adversely affect the broader objective of regional cooperation. During the meeting, the premier said that his visit to Miramshah was a very moving experience. He paid rich tributes to the troops who are fighting against terrorists in North Waziristan and noted the sacrifices of soldiers who had laid down their lives in defence of their motherland. The NSC noted that sadly the unprovoked violations of ceasefire by the Indian forces had occurred in total disregard of the auspicious and festive occasion of Eidul Azha. The committee offered condolences to the bereaved families of the 13 civilians and sympathies with the injured people. It commended the soldiers 'who bravely and duly responded to the aggression'. The NSC noted that the government of Pakistan has pursued a policy of peaceful relations with all its neighbours. Initiation of peace dialogue of the 1990s, and more recently, participation of the PM Nawaz in Prime Minister Modi's oath-taking ceremony are a manifestation of Pakistan's sincere desire to constructively engage India to establish durable peace in the region.