Pakistan is fully prepared to defend itself against any form of aggression, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said a day after Indian troops carried out surgical strikes on terrorist bases across the Line of Control in Kashmir. Chairing a special meeting of his cabinet on Friday to take stock of the situation against the backdrop of heightened tensions with India, Sharif repeated Pakistan’s rejection of the surgical strikes and said India had resorted to “unprovoked firing” on the LoC. Sharif also described the Kashmir issue as an “unfinished agenda of Partition”, according to state-run Radio Pakistan. “Pakistan’s commitment for peace must not be construed as weakness. In case of any aggression or violation of the LoC, Pakistan will take all necessary steps to protect its people and territorial integrity,” he said.
India said on Thursday its special forces had carried out strikes on several terror launch pads across the 742-km LoC and inflicted significant casualties. The Pakistan Army denied the surgical strikes and said there was “cross-border firing” that killed two soldiers.
Sharif said his government wants peace in the region to pursue its development agenda but every Pakistani is ready to defend the country. “The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with its brave armed forces. No one will be allowed to cast an evil eye against Pakistan,” he said.
He said the “Indian aggression poses a serious threat to regional peace”, and the leadership and people of Pakistan are united to counter any “aggressive Indian designs”.
Sharif criticised the “Indian aggression” at the LoC and said Pakistan stands in solidarity with the people of Kashmir who are “struggling for their right to self-determination”. He added, “Indian atrocities in the region cannot suppress the spirit of Kashmiris.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani sparked violent protests in Kashmir that left dozens dead.The Country angered India by referring to Wani as a “Kashmiri leader” and Sharif devoted much of his speech at the UN General Assembly to the Kashmir issue.