Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the Indian government was attempting to divert the world’s attention from its border dispute with China to Pakistan, as diplomatic tensions rose between the two countries.
Speaking to a private news channel on Wednesday, the foreign minister spoke about India’s move to tell Pakistan’s diplomatic staff in New Delhi to slash its presence by 50% on charges they had violated the Vienna Convention.
“India’s mood is clear [for all to see] as it wants to divert attention from its border dispute with China to Pakistan,” said the foreign minister, adding that India was finding excuses to launch a false-flag operation against Pakistan.
“The opposition in India is raising questions that their government can’t answer,” he said, referring to the criticism being faced by the Modi government regarding its response to the border dispute with China in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
Stating that India had posed baseless allegations against Pakistani diplomats of spying in New Delhi, Qureshi said that the Pakistani staff was harassed in India and their cars were followed by authorities.
He said that Pakistan had not only condemned the allegations but also rejected them. The foreign minister added that the Indian Chargé d’ Affaires in Islamabad was summoned and told that the same treatment would be meted out to the Indian staff.
“We told him [Indian Chargé d’ Affaires] that because of this unilateral policy, you also wrap up and slash your [diplomatic staff] presence by 50%,” noted FM Qureshi.
“There is no doubt about what India is trying to do,” the foreign minister said. “Whatever India does, it will receive a response in kind.”
Separately on Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that India has “fomented terrorism inside Pakistan” by providing training and financial and material support to terrorist groups to kill innocent people in Pakistan.
She said Pakistan had proposed the designation of four Indian nationals namely Venumadhav Dongara, Ajoy Mistry, Gobinda Patnaik, and Angara Appaji in 2019 under the United Nations 1267 Sanctions List.