Pakistan’s prime minister offered Tuesday to hold talks with India, even as he warned New Delhi to refrain from launching any attacks on his country following last week’s suicide bombing in Indian controlled Kashmir.
Imran Khan said he hoped “better sense” would prevail after the attack that killed at least 40 Indian troops. But he warned in a televised speech that if India attacks, “Pakistan will not merely think of retaliation, but rather, we will retaliate.” India has blamed Pakistan and threatened a “jaw-breaking response” for last Thursday’s bombing, in which a militant rammed an explosive- laden van into a paramilitary bus in Kashmir. It was the worst attack against Indian government forces in Kashmir’s history.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared following the attack. Islamabad condemned it while also cautioning India against linking Pakistan to the bombing without an investigation. On Monday, four Indian soldiers, three suspected militants, a police official and a civilian were killed as Indian soldiers searched for militants. “If you have any actionable evidence, share it with us and we will take action,” Khan said. “We are ready to cooperate with India in the investigations.” “I hope better sense will prevail,” he added. His remarks were in response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that his security forces have been given “total freedom” to deal with the militants in Kashmir. (AP)