Qureshi threatens India of retaliation amid LoC tensions, UNSC membership

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BY HAMZA AMEER
Islamabad, June 20 (IANS)
India’s landslide victory through an unopposed inclusion into the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member has irked the Imran Khan-led government in Pakistan, as angry reactions have started coming out of Islamabad, threatening India of dire consequences in case of any misadventure committed along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB).
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has warned India against any misadventure, threatening of a telling retaliatory response.
“Beware, beware, remember February 2019 and be ready for a quick retaliation while casting an evil eye on us,” he said during his address to the Upper House (Senate) of Pakistan.
Qureshi lashed out at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, asserting, “Pakistan can’t be cowed down by the Indians.”
Qureshi also reiterated Islamabad’s inclination towards Beijing in the recent deadly clashes in Ladakh between Indian and Chinese forces, stating that Indian soldiers were suffering casualties there.
“There is a dramatic shift in the region. China has openly landed in the arena against India,” he said.
“Nepal, which was thought to be completely under India’s influence, is now making claims on some disputed areas with India, while Sri Lanka and Bhutan also had their objections. Afghanistan also thinks India is impeding reconciliation process there,” he added.
Qureshi briefed the Senate stating that India is facing isolation and New Delhi is feeling the pressure.
He also reiterated Islamabad’s concerns over what they call a false-flag operation by New Delhi aimed at diverting attention of the global community from the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has remained under lockdown for almost a year now.
Qureshi’s aggressive remarks came at a time when the Imran Khan-led government is facing serious criticism from its opposition parties for failing to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UN platform and giving India a walkover to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
While Pakistan voted against India’s contention for the non-permanent membership, its vote didn’t matter as a heavy majority voted in favor of New Delhi.
“Though it was a secret balloting, Pakistan openly said that it had voted against India for last year’s August 5 unconstitutional steps it took in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and for violating the UN Charter, UNSC resolutions and international norms,” maintained Qureshi.
Pakistan’s anger over India’s inclusion into the UNSC is understandable as its ongoing diplomatic campaign to attract support against the Modi government for its decision taken on August 5, 2019, abrogating Articles 370 and 35A, changing the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, in the United Nations has practically failed to yield results.
Tensions at the Line of Control (LoC) have also intensified in the recent days as heavy exchanges of artillery firing have claimed lives of border security forces and civilians on both sides.
Pakistan and India both have been lodging strong protests against the ceasefire violations, summoning senior diplomats of respective high commissions to record their protests.
Tensions are expected to flare up in the coming days as August 5, 2020 inches closer, marking one year of the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir, for which Islamabad is gearing up to stage protests, rallies and international conferences.