Pakistan ready to respond to foreign aggression — Army spokesman

In this file photo, Pakistan’s army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor speaks with media representatives during a press conference in Rawalpindi on April 17, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2018
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Pakistan ready to respond to foreign aggression — Army spokesman

  • Desire for peace should not be misconstrued as our weakness, says Pakistan military spokesman
  • We reject warmongering by ruling elite of India, Pakistan’s information minister says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is “ready for war” and capable of responding to any foreign aggression, military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said on Saturday.
“We are ready for war but choose to walk the path of peace in the interest of the people of Pakistan, the neighbors and the region,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Indian Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat threatened to take “stern action” in response to the killing of an Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier. “I think the other side (Pakistan) must also feel the same pain,” he said.
Rawat’s statement came a day after India called off talks between the two countries’ foreign ministers, citing the killing of the BSF soldier as one of the reasons.
Ghafoor called Rawat’s statement “irresponsible,” saying: “India should not disturb the peace process.”
Ghafoor said Pakistan is a nuclear power, and its desire for peace should not be misconstrued as weakness.
Islamabad’s “offer still stands for India to come forward and hold talks with us,” he added, denying that the Pakistani Army was responsible for the killing of the BSF soldier.
Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday tweeted that India is resorting to “warmongering” to deflect attention from “increasing calls” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resignation over corruption allegations. 
The president of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N), Shehbaz Sharif, said the world should immediately take note of India’s threatening posture.
“Pakistan extending an olive branch to India, should never be misconstrued as weakness,” he tweeted.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday: “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”


Pakistan reopens Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan

Updated 21 October 2018
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Pakistan reopens Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan

  • Islamabad closed border crossings with Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government
  • Afghanistan held its third parliamentary elections since 2001 on Saturday

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reopened its Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan on Sunday, state media reported.
Islamabad had closed two main border crossings —  Chaman and Torkham — with Afghanistan on Friday for two days, at the request of the Afghan government.
“The decision has been taken to support Afghanistan in the smooth conduct of the upcoming Parliamentary elections in the country,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.
On Saturday, Afghanistan held it third parliamentary elections since 2001. 
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on the phone on Friday and said, “These elections are an important landmark for the strengthening of democracy in the country, which remains the key to achieving sustainable peace and progress in Afghanistan.”