Pakistan will retaliate against any Indian attacks over Kashmir bombing, says Imran Khan

Pakistan will retaliate against any Indian attacks over Kashmir bombing, says Imran KhanPakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, has warned his country will retaliate against any Indian attack in the wake of last week's Kashmir suicide bombing and called instead for dialogue to calm the growing crisis. Mr Khan said he was willing to help Delhi investigate the blast which killed at least 40 paramilitary policemen last week and prompted outrage in India and calls for revenge. As tensions remained high, the senior Indian military commander in Kashmir told mothers to ensure their sons surrendered to an ongoing security crackdown or they would be killed. India says it has incontrovertible evidence that Pakistan's spy agency was behind the blast as part of its long history of supporting militant groups in the region. The attack on a security convoy was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group. Only weeks before a spring general election, the worst ever attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir has put significant pressure on India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, to strike back. Lt Gen KJS Dhillon said militants in Kashmir had to surrender or die Credit: AP In a televised address Mr Khan told India that in the event of any aggression “Pakistan will not just think about retaliating, we will retaliate. There will be no way to respond other than to retaliate." He went on: “And after that, where does the matter go? We all know that starting a war is easy. [But] starting a war may be in our hands, ending it won't be.” If Delhi had “any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved, give it to us," he said.  "I guarantee you that we will take action ─ not because we are under pressure, but because they [any individuals found involved] are acting as enemies of Pakistan." An Indian soldier on guard during a curfew in Kashmir Credit: Reuters The disputed region has since the 1980s been a hotbed of insurgents wanting either independence or union with Pakistan, and heavy-handed Indian tactics have alienated many of the youth. The bombing was carried out by a 20-year-old man from a village in Indian Kashmir. His parents said he had joined a militant group after being beaten by Indian troops three years ago. Lt-Gen KJS Dhillon commander of the Indian army's Kashmir-based 15 Corps, accused Pakistan's military spy agency of "controlling" those behind the bombing. He said: "I would request all the mothers in Kashmir to please request their sons who have joined terrorism to surrender and get back to the mainstream. Otherwise anyone who has picked up the gun will be killed.”



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