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Pakistan to give ‘befitting response’ in case of aggression: Aziz

Pakistan to give ‘befitting response’ in case of aggression: Aziz

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security, Sartaj Aziz, said categorically on Tuesday that Pakistan would give a ‘befitting response’ in the event of an aggression by India.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating the fourth Regional Technical Group (RTG) meeting on Disaster Management and Confidence Building Measures, he said the Modi government won the election on the basis of ‘anti-Pakistan platform’ and was pursuing the same policy from day one.

“They want better ties, but on their own terms,” Mr Aziz said.

He was responding to a statement made by Indian Information Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who said his government would explore every possible means, including carrying out a covert or a special operation, to neutralise Dawood Ibrahim or Hafiz Saeed.

Mr Aziz said if there was any such thing, “a befitting response will be given”.

“If anyone has this notion that after such an attempt they can get away with it, it is their wishful thinking.”

The adviser, who also looks after the country’s foreign affairs, said Islamabad’s stance was clear that unless Pakistan and India discussed all issues, including Kashmir, there was no use of holding any dialogue.

“This has been conveyed to them [Indians] and the international community supports our stance that unless there is a talk on all outstanding issues, and no solution is sought, how can the situation improve?”

He said the director general of Rangers and officials of the Indian Border Security Force would meet on Wednesday and discuss the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Pakistan would take up the issue of unprovoked firing by India along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, he added.

Regarding his recent visit to Afghanistan, Sartaj Aziz said following terrorist attacks in Kabul there was “a persistent anti- Pakistan campaign” which was not good for bilateral ties.

He said the objective of his meeting was restoring trust and removal of misunderstandings.

The adviser said President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan agreed that there was a need to remove the trust deficit and in this regard a couple of suggestions were put forward. He said it was also agreed that a memorandum of mutual trust would be signed in a few days to avert a repeat of such incidents.

Mr Aziz said the matter of security of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was also taken up and the Afghan government assured of beefing it up.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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