NEW DELHI: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said there is no danger of a war with India though both countries should ensure there is no escalation of the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.
Abbasi, who was chosen a s the premier by the ruling PML-N after the Supreme Court ousted Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty last year, also ruled out the possibility of action against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, saying there were no cases against him in Pakistan.
“I don’t think there is a danger of war, at least from our side, it isn’t there. Pakistan has never taken unilateral action, we have always demonstrated responsibility,” Abbasi said in an interview with Geo News channel that was aired on Tuesday night.
Responding to a question on the Indian Army chief’s remarks about calling Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and possible cross-border operations, Abbasi said: “The Indian Army chief will not speak in favour of us. It is a fact that Pakistan has nuclear capability and we have demonstrated it, and there is need for India to understand that (when) there are violations of the Line of Control, these things will not go without retaliation.
“It is necessary for both countries to stay away from escalation,” he added.
Referring to the Indian army chief’s remarks, he said, “If they believe on the other side there will be some political benefits and they keep making statements, as their military leadership has done, this has never been good for peace.”
Asked why Pakistan was not taking action against Hafiz Saeed despite pressure from India and the US, Abbasi said: “There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. If there was a case, action would be taken. This is an issue that comes to the fore repeatedly but there is no truth in it.”
Saeed was placed under house arrest for 10 months last year, largely because of pressure from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is currently looking into Pakistan’s efforts to crack down on terror financing. The US was angered by the release of the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and warned there could be retaliation if Pakistan does not re-arrest and prosecute Saeed.
In response to another question on Saeed’s efforts to enter the political mainstream with his Milli Muslim League party, Abbasi said the Election Commission alone would decide on the party’s registration according to existing guidelines. “The government doesn’t interfere in that,” he said.
Abbasi also said there has been no change in Pakistan’s stance that Kashmir remains the “core issue” with India. “On our core issue, there are no two opinions – our views are what they were on day one,” he said.
“We have always said the doors are open for talks but in a dignified and respectable manner, in which there can be a meaningful dialogue without compromising on the core issue of Kashmir,” he said.
Abbasi said there was “nothing new” about the reported secret meetings between the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan. “This sort of meetings keep happening, this is not something new and such meetings help in understanding each other’s positions and to convey messages,” he said.