Ceasefire Violations: Aziz Warns Of Indian Plot To Integrate Kashmir

17 October 2014
Express Tribune

Islamabad: Islamabad on Thursday said unprovoked firing by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary was part of New Delhi's plan to 'integrate' Kashmir into its territory and 'neutralise' Pakistan. '[Ceasefire violations along] the LoC are just part of [India's] total strategy [to] integrate Kashmir and neutralise Pakistan,' Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Foreign Affairs during a meeting convened to discuss the deepening crises between the two nuclear armed neighbors. When asked to comment on the possible motives behind India's 'unprovoked' firing along the LoC, the adviser said New Delhi was trying to justify the cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks through such aggressive tactics. 'Elections in Kashmir are approaching so they [India] want to build up anti-Pakistan rhetoric,' Aziz said. He made it clear that India could not afford a 'limited war' with Pakistan or carry out 'surgical strikes' on Pakistani soil 'because it is aware of our armed forces' capability to respond to any such challenge.' Some of the panel members, including Aftab Khan Sherpao, criticised government's response as defensive. However, the adviser insisted that Pakistan was trying to win international support on the issue. 'We should be firm but not aggressive,' Aziz said justifying Pakistan's approach to deal with the situation. US concerned Voicing concern over escalation in violence along the LoC, a top American envoy on Thursday said the US has raised the issue with both Pakistan and India and asked them to resolve the tensions through dialogue. 'We are extremely concerned by reports of violence over the last two weeks along the LoC and the working boundary,' US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman told a Washington think tank. 'I've personally raised these concerns with each side - and urged them to engage in dialogue to reduce tensions and end the violence,' he said in a speech to the Atlantic Council. Feldman noted 'there is no relationship more critical to Pakistan's future than its relationship with its neighbour.' Meanwhile, in an interview in New York, Pakistan's representative to the United Nations Masood Khan said restraint exercised by Pakistan should not be considered as weakness.