Islamabad   -   The chiefs of Pakistan’s land and air forces met on Monday to review country’s preparedness for thwarting any Indian aggression as world powers backed Islamabad’s stand in the post-Pulwama attack situation.

India has blamed its neighbour for the suicide bombing in Kashmir that left more than 40 Indian soldiers dead this month. It issued war threats to Pakistan, which has strongly denied any link to the attack and offered help in the investigation.

Under the lead of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Air Chief Anwar Mujahid Khan, the officers of army and air force yesterday deliberated on ‘operational environment - including threat and response’, at the Air Headquarters.

“Both the Chiefs expressed satisfaction on readiness, coordination & synergy. Pak Armed Forces are fully prepared for a befitting response to any Indian aggression or misadventure, IA [InSha Allah],” DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

Earlier the same day, COAS Bajwa also visited the headquarters of the Rawalpindi Corps. He was briefed by the corps commander on the operational situation and state of readiness along the Line of Actual Contact, Line of Control and Working Boundary.

In defence of country’s diplomatic front, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telephoned a number of world leaders and discussed with them ways to maintain peace in the region.

He spoke to Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, German FM Heiko Maas, European Union Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and others and briefed them on the evolving regional situation after the Pulwama incident.

All the leaders supported Pakistan’s point of view on the tension with India and pledged to play a role to defuse Pak-India tension, officials said. An emergency session of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation’s Kashmir-focused wing was also summoned on Pakistan’s request.

An ‘urgent’ notification by the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir said the meeting will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today (February 26). The permanent ambassadors of the OIC member states will participate in the upcoming meeting on Occupied Kashmir, the notification said.

After the Pulwama attack on February 14, India had threatened to isolate Pakistan on international level and then claimed that it would stop the flow of water into the country.Amid heightened tension, Prime Minister Imran Khan authorised the armed forces to hit back against India if attacked but repeated a call for an investigation into the attack in Kashmir.

The situation improved over the weekend when Modi referred to his telephone call to PM Khan after his inauguration as the premier in August in which the two leaders had agreed to work for peace.

Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged his Indian counterpart to ‘give peace a chance.’ Responding to PM Modi’s comments that Imran Khan should stand by his words that if ‘India gives us actionable intelligence, we will immediately act’.

 Separate statements issued by the foreign ministry said that FM Qureshi thanked the world leaders for supporting Pakistan in its efforts for regional peace.

A statement said that the FM ‘thanked China for its steadfast support and underscored Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability in the region and resolution of all issues through negotiations with India. He also highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan to de-escalate the situation’.

The foreign ministry statement said that China foreign minister appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region and agreed that the unfolding regional situation was serious with implications for peace and security of the entire region.

“He also acknowledged Pakistan’s invaluable contributions in the fight against terrorism for which Pakistan has paid a heavy price. They (the two FMs) also agreed to stay in touch with each other over the regional developments,” the ministry said.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also telephoned his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono to explain why he had postponed his visit to Japan.

“I was supposed to travel to Japan on your invitation on February 24, said Qureshi, however, he added that the situation in South Asia after the Pulwama attack had been complex. The situation in Kashmir has become dangerous,” he said.

The FM said that in such a sensitive situation, it was important for him to stay in the country. Both the foreign ministers agreed to reschedule the visit as soon as possible, the foreign ministry said.

Earlier, Qureshi contacted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas over the telephone and discussed the evolving regional situation. He briefed his German counterpart on the evolving situation after Pulwama incident and stressed that despite baseless allegations and aggressive rhetoric emanating from India, Pakistan had offered cooperation in investigating the incident and asked India to share any actionable evidence in this regard. He said that Pakistan desired a peaceful neighbourhood and remains committed to peace and stability in the region.

The German Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan’s overtures and stressed upon the need to preserve peace and stability in the region. The two FMs expressed satisfaction at the current level of bilateral relations and agreed to translate the existing friendship and mutual goodwill into a strong political and economic partnership.

Qureshi also telephoned European Union Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and discussed the Pak-India tension.

The Foreign Minister said that despite unfounded allegations and provocative statements from India, Pakistan had demonstrated utmost restraint and asked New Delhi to provide evidence, if any, to investigate the Pulwama attack.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace, Federica Mogherini assured the Foreign Minister to provide full cooperation to overcome this tense situation between Pakistan and India.

The inaugural session of bilateral consultations between Pakistan and Malaysia meanwhile was held in Islamabad on Monday.

The Pakistan side was led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua while Secretary General Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Shahrul Ikram bin Yakob headed the Malaysian side.

“Detailed discussions were also held on regional and global issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine,” the foreign ministry said.

The Foreign Secretary briefed the Malaysian Secretary General on current situation in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Indian belligerence which is a threat to peace and security. The two sides reaffirmed their resolve to promote closer cooperation at international forums, the statement said.

The Secretary General also called on Foreign Minister Qureshi. The FM expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory in bilateral relations between Pakistan and Malaysia.

 

 

Wang Yi

agrees with Qureshi to stay in touch over regional situation

Heiko Maas

pledges to play role for preservation of peace

Mogherini

assures of support for overcoming tension