Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran  on Tuesday said Pakistan will certainly retaliate if India declares war but also pledged to act against Pakistanis found involved in the attack if “actionable intelligence” was provided. “If you (Indian government) think you will attack us and we will not think of retaliating, you are mistaken; we will retaliate. We will have no other option other than retaliating.

We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us, only God knows,” a sombre Khan said in a nationwide broadcast.The Pakistani leader further said the Indian government had blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack without any evidence.

“India accused Pakistan without any evidence and without thinking how this (attack) would benefit us… This is ‘Naya’ Pakistan. We have a new stream of thought… Why would Pakistan do it when it is moving towards stability?” Khan asked.
Denying Islamabad’s involvement in the bombing, the Pakistani leader said: “India is in an election year and speaking of attacking Pakistan is in sync with popular sentiment.”

Offering to probe the attack, he said: “Pakistan is ready to investigate it and act if India provides actionable intelligence. Not because we are under pressure but because it is our policy. “If someone is using Pakistan’s soil (to carry out terror attacks elsewhere), he is our enemy. It is against our interests.” At the same time, Khan urged New Delhi to introspect, while adding that Pakistan was ready for talks with India on terrorism.

“You want to remain stuck in the past and each time an incident happens in Kashmir, you want to hold Pakistan responsible. Instead of trying to resolve the (Kashmir) issue, starting a dialogue or moving forward, (you) make Islamabad your whipping boy, again and again. “India should reflect why people in Kashmir are so angry with India. Kashmiris are not afraid of death any more.

There must be a reason for that Should there not be a discussion in India on this?” he asked. “Which law in the world allows anyone to become a judge and jury at the same time?” Wondering if India wanted to resolve the Kashmir issue militarily, Khan said this would never succeed.

He added that whenever Pakistan has tried to initiate a dialogue with India, New Delhi’s precondition was that terrorism must be discussed.”We are ready to talk about terrorism. Terrorism is a regional issue… We want terrorism in the region to end…Pakistan has been the worst affected by terrorism.

Therefore, we are ready to talk to you. “The Kashmir issue, like the Afghan issue, will be resolved through talks,” he said.The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said he was late in speaking on the issue because Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was visiting his country. “Would we commit such an act when the Saudi Crown Prince is visiting us? Would a fool even consider sabotaging the conference and what benefit would we get out if it?” he asked.

FRANCE TO MOVE AGAIN ON AZHAR

Pulwama terror attack: Imran Khan warns of retaliation if India declares war

France will be moving a proposal at the UN in a “couple of days” to ban Masood Azhar, chief of the UN-proscribed, the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The JeM has claimed responsibility of the Pulwama terror attack. This will be the second time France will be party to such a proposal at the UN. In 2017, the US, supported by the UK and France, had moved a proposal at the UN’s Sanctions Committee seeking to ban the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit. However, the proposal was blocked by China.

VOICES

Pulwama terror attack: Imran Khan warns of retaliation if India declares war

WE CAN PICK UP AZHAR FOR YOU: Dear Imran Khan, you have Jaish chief Masood Azhar sitting in Bahawalpur & masterminding the attacks with ISI help. Go pick him up from there. If you can’t, let us know, we’ll do it for you. But what has been done about the proof of Mumbai’s 26/11 attack? Time to walk the talk,” tweeted Amarinder.

Pulwama terror attack: Imran Khan warns of retaliation if India declares war

LOUD & CLEAR: Cricketer Shahid Afridi, a former Pakistan captain, had this to say after the Pakistan PM’s speech: Absolutely crystal & clear.

Pulwama terror attack: Imran Khan warns of retaliation if India declares war

ZAFAR LAUDS IMRAN: Pakistani actor-singer Ali Zafar has lauded Imran Khan and tweeted, “What a speech!” Zafar made his Bollywood debut in 2010  in Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden. He has appeared in a number of Hindi films, including Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Chashme Baddoor and London, Paris, New York. He was last seen in Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi, which released in 2016.