Imran Khan says India-Pakistan relations to remain tense till elections in India
The stand-off between India and Pakistan is unlikely to get over till the end of the Lok Sabha elections, said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that he feared "another misadventure" by Pakistan's eastern neighbour. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the February 14 attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama.
Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an Indian pilot, who was handed over to India later.
Khan said shadows of war were still hovering over Pakistan and India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration could go for "another misadventure" before the general elections.
"The danger is not over. The situation will remain tense till forthcoming general elections in India. We are already prepared to avert any aggression from India," Dawn quoted Khan as saying.
Recently, Khan welcomed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi's greetings on the eve of its National Day, saying time has come to begin a "comprehensive dialogue" between the two countries to address and resolve all issues, including the "central issue" of Kashmir.
According to official sources in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi sent a letter to Khan, greeting people of Pakistan on the eve of its National Day and highlighting the importance of a terror-free South Asia.
Modi, in his message, said it was time for the people of the sub-continent to work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, they said.
Khan, in a tweet, welcomed Modi's message and said the time has come to begin a comprehensive dialogue between the two countries to address and resolve all issues, including Kashmir.
Khan also claimed that he cancelled his scheduled meeting with the Taliban in Islamabad due to "concerns" expressed by the Afghan government.
The Taliban last month said that its representatives would visit Islamabad to meet Prime Minister Khan on February 18.
Media reports later suggested that the Taliban called off the meeting as most of the members of their negotiating team could not travel to Pakistan due to sanctions imposed on them by the US and the United Nations.