On Friday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he had reliable intelligence that India was preparing a Pakistani surgical strike to distract attention from its internal affairs.
This remark was made by the Foreign Minister at a press conference in Dubai, where he is finishing a two-day stay during which he held meetings with the Emirati leadership’s top brass.
“picked up by intelligence”picked up by intelligence.
“An important development has cropped up […] I’ve learned through our intelligence forces […] that India is planning a surgical strike against Pakistan,” Qureshi stated.
He further elaborated, calling it a “serious development” that India is already “trying to seek tacit approval” from what Qureshi said were “important players who they consider to be their partners”
“serious internal issues”serious internal issues.
Army on high alert
This announcement comes on the heels of an atmosphere which is still tense.
Informed sources told Dawn earlier this month that in the midst of a potential possibility of another attempt by India to execute a surgical strike within Pakistani territory, the Pakistan Army had been placed on high alert.
They said India was planning to launch another assault on the Line of Control (LoC) and across the Working Boundary at Pulwama after suffering a crushing setback in Ladakh and Doklam, posing a challenge to regional peace and stability.
An official said India was preparing a “false flag operation” to distract the world’s attention from many of its internal problems, including the continuing farmers’ protest, its treatment of minorities, the massacres committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir, and foreign institutions and media criticism of its policies.
India can replay a Pulwama-like drama at any time to distract attention from the internal issues and schedule an action along the LoC and Working Boundary, he added.
India claimed to have performed a surgical strike on the LoC in 2016, an assertion rubbished by Pakistan. Similarly, India attempted to conduct a similar action against Pakistan on Feb 26 last year but it crashed and two of its planes were shot down by the Pakistan Air Force. Wing Commander Abhinandan, an Indian pilot, was arrested and later released.
The decision to place the army on high alert comes days after the Indian government approved the establishment of a new position of deputy chief of strategy at the headquarters of the army in conjunction with a proposal envisaged during the Doklam crisis with China in 2017, in addition to establishing the position of general information warfare director who will also deal with media relations.