ISLAMABAD: Terming “Indian aggression” as a threat to the entire region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday warned that Pakistan is also capable of executing surgical strikes and will not allow anyone to “cast an evil eye” on it.
Chairing a special Cabinet meeting to review the security situation in the country, Sharif said that Pakistan will take all necessary steps to protect its people and territorial integrity in case of any aggression or violation of the Line of Control (LoC).
He said that Indian aggression constituted a threat to the entire region and Pakistan would take all measures to protect its territorial integrity, The Express Tribune reported. “No one will be allowed to cast an evil eye on Pakistan,” Sharif said, adding that Pakistan was fully capable of executing surgical strikes. “The nation is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the valiant armed forces to defend the motherland.”
His comments came a day after India conducted “surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC” with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.
Pakistan has dismissed as “fabrication of truth” India’s claim and termed it as a “quest” by India to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as surgical strike.
Sharif said that all steps would be taken to prevent LoC violations or aggression and added that Pakistan’s resolve to establish peace remained strong.
He said the leadership and people of Pakistan are united in their resolve to counter any aggressive Indian designs, adding that Pakistan’s commitment for peace must not be construed as weakness. Sharif also raised Kashmir issue said that it was the “unfinished agenda of the partition”. He said that atrocities in Kashmir could not crush Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. “Indian atrocities” there are “unacceptable”, he said. Calling for a probe into the September 18 Uri attack, Sharif said blaming Pakistan for orchestrating the attack was beyond comprehension.
The Cabinet also joined the Prime Minister in completely rejecting the Indian claims of carrying out “surgical strikes”, Radio Pakistan reported. It condemned “Indian accusations in the wake of the Uri attack and pledged to expose India before the international community”.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan does not want escalation of tension but is ready to meet any eventuality. Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said India is creating artificial tension in its attempt to divert attention of the world from its atrocities against Kashmiris. He said Pakistan’s defence is in strong hands and the country would continue to raise voice for rights of Kashmiris.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Syed Riaz Hussain Pirzada regretted that instead of giving right of self-determination to Kashmiris, India is resorting to terrorism against Pakistan. He said the world community should take notice of India’s belligerence.
Pak Parliamentary Session On Monday
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif summoned a session for all the parliamentary parties’ leaders on Monday, to discuss the contemporary situation following the Indian violation of Line of Control.
The session will be briefed about the recent situation on the LoC and the retaliatory response given by the armed forces.
It was learnt that the parliamentary leaders of political parties will give their opinion on the matter.
Solidarity will also be expressed for the oppressed people of Indian-held Kashmir.
In the session, diplomatic and political support will be reaffirmed for the Kashmiris.
Pak Theatres Ban Indian Films
Karachi: Pakistani theatres have stopped screening Indian films in “solidarity” with the country’s armed forces, after an escalation of violence in disputed Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbours, cinema hall owners said on Friday.
Tension between India and Pakistan has been high since an Indian security forces crackdown on dissent in Indian-controlled Kashmir began in July. Relations worsened in September after militants killed 18 soldiers in a raid on an Indian army base, an attack New Delhi blames on Pakistan.
“We have stopped screening Indian movies at our theatres from Friday till the situation improves and normalcy returns,” said Nadeem Mandviwalla, whose Mandviwalla Entertainment runs eight cinemas in Karachi and the capital, Islamabad.
India said on Thursday it had carried out “surgical strikes” in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a claim that Pakistan condemned and denied.
The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), a small filmmakers’ body, on Thursday banned their members from hiring Pakistani actors. Mandviwalla and other theatre owners said the ban in Pakistan was also in response to IMPPA’s move.
Indian media reported that a leader of regional right-wing party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, last week gave Pakistani actors 48 hours to leave India or faced being “pushed out”.
The party, which was not available for comment, is one of two hardline parties based in Mumbai that has regularly called for Pakistani artists to be banned from working in India.
Indian films are spectacularly popular both at the theatres and on bootlegged DVDs in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s domestic film industry has seen a revival in recent years, but is dwarfed by India’s Bollywood. Pakistani actors have increasingly been appearing in big budget Bollywood films in the last few years.
Some Indian actors came to the defence of their Pakistani counterparts.
“They are artists. These are two different subjects. They were terrorists, these are artists. What do you think, artists are terrorists?” Salman Khan, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, told reporters when asked if Pakistani actors should be forced out.
Khurram Gultasab, general manager at Super Cinemas, which runs ten theatres in cities across Pakistan’s Punjab province, confirmed his group would also not be screening Indian films.
“I think we should show solidarity with our army engaged at very hot borders right now and secondly with our actors,” said Gultasab. He said the move had been made by cinema owners themselves, rather than on government directions.
Other Pakistani theatres posted on social media saying they would not be showing Indian films after Thursday’s violence.
(With Inputs from Reuters)