ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has claimed that Islamabad never wanted any increase in tensions with New Delhi.
The Express Tribune quoted Basit, as saying in interview published in the Outlook magazine on Friday that, “We never wanted to escalate the situation either vertically or horizontally.”
“Pakistan has always proportionately responded to whatever [ceasefire] violation has taken place in the past. That continues to be our stance,” he said.
Replying to a question asked about what he thought happened on the night of September 29 – the night India claimed that its army carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC), Basit said, “If you [India] want to label cross-LoC firing as surgical strikes, that is your prerogative and we can’t stop you.”
“But I can assure you, had there been any surgical strikes, Pakistan would have responded immediately and proportionately. If there is any action from the Indian side, you can rest assured Pakistan will respond,” he added.
However, the Pakistan envoy warned that India was setting a dangerous example by claiming to have carried out covert raids across the LoC. “It is very dangerous to nurture false expectations. There are high stakes involved on both sides,” he said. Asked why he thought Delhi would mislabel ‘routine operations’, Basit said “it is for India to explain.”
He further said that “we are very confident that our deterrence is working and Pakistan will never allow the credibility of its deterrence to erode.”