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Sharif dismay at 'loose' talk

Nawaz Sharif 

New Delhi, June 11: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today accused India of making "irresponsible" and "imprudent" statements, hours after the country's upper house passed a resolution criticising a series of comments by Indian ministers for their "hegemonic" tone.

"The entire nation is dismayed by the recent irresponsible and, I must say, imprudent statements from the Indian political leadership," Sharif told Pakistan's ambassadors to the region's countries. "This vitiates the atmosphere and takes us farther away from our goals of regional peace and stability."

Sharif said Pakistan would "protect our vital interests at all costs."

"This message must be heard loud and clear," he said. "At the same time, we will not abandon our high moral ground because of provocations. We will continue our quest for a peaceful neighbourhood."

Earlier in the day, Pakistan's Senate warned of a "befitting response" if New Delhi attempts a military "incursion" in its territory.

The resolution was passed on a day Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar taunted Islamabad after the army's operations on the India-Myanmar border that followed a June 4 attack on soldiers in Manipur.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, junior information and broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Rathore had in comments suggested the Narendra Modi government was prepared to also target terror camps located in Pakistan.

"The House emphasises that Pakistan would never allow its territory to be violated by India under any pretext, and that Pakistan's armed forces are capable of issuing a befitting response to any such incursion," the resolution said. "India's statements confirm the Pakistani government's apprehensions about Indian intentions to destabilize the country. The people of Pakistan stand shoulder to shoulder with their armed forces."

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's foreign policy adviser and national security adviser Sartaj Aziz briefed the Senate before it adopted the resolution.

The resolution also "urged the international community to take notice of India's provocative statements, which did not bode well for regional peace and affected prospects of sovereignty and stability."

India's "provocations," the resolution said, undermined Pakistan's domestic anti-terror campaign.


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