ISLAMABAD After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his country and India stood a better chance of having peace talks if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected again, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that the cricketer-turned-politician’s comments “were taken out of context”.
Addressing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs here, Qureshi accused the Indian media of “sensationalising everything”. He claimed that Khan’s comments were “published out of context”, The Dawn reported.
Earlier this week, while interacting with foreign journalists, Khan had said that prospects of peace talks between India and Pakistan would be brightened if Modi came to power again.
Perhaps if the BJP wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached, he had said.
Responding to Khan’s remarks, Qureshi said that the Pakistan Prime Minister’s opinions on Modi “are on the record”.
Qureshi underlined that only the Indian electorate would decide the winner and loser of the ongoing general elections.
Qureshi’s remarks came amid tensions between India and Pakistan sparked following the February 14 Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Forty CRPF personnel had lost their lives in the attack that was claimed responsibility by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.
The incident provoked international condemnation and pressure on Pakistan, urging it to intensify its crackdown on militant groups operating from its soil.
On February 26, India launched an air strike at a JeM training camp in Balakot in Pakistan in retaliation to the Pulwama attack. The Balakot airstrike was followed by a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani air forces in which a Pakistani F-16 jet and an Indian fighter plane were shot down.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistani authorities but was released on March 1 as a “peace of gesture”.
Previously, Qureshi alleged that Pakistan had reliable intelligence inputs India “is hatching a new plot and may resort to military aggression” against the country between April 16 and 20.
However, India had strongly rejected Qureshis claims, dubbing it as irresponsible and preposterous statement made by Pakistan with a clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region.
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