New Delhi: Nearly six days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan roared that they (Pakistan) will not take cover if India mounts an offensive in light of the Pulwama terror attack, Khan on Sunday reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a ‘give peace a chance’ message. Also Read - Democracy, Freedom And Liberty Part of India's Civilisational Ethos: PM Modi At G7 Summit | Top Points
In a media address last week, Imran Khan had passionately said, “All this ‘attack Pakistan’ talk is all keeping elections in mind. But if at all these are serious, please make note of one thing clearly – Pakistan will not think of retaliating, it will retaliate.” Also Read - PM Modi Meets Amit Shah, BJP Chief JP Nadda Amid Cabinet Expansion Buzz
But on Sunday, the Pakistan Prime Minister assured his Indian counterpart that he “stands by” his words and will “immediately act” if New Delhi provides Islamabad with “actionable intelligence” on the Pulwama attack. Also Read - Sunil Gavaskar Names Two Bowlers he Feared Most During His Playing Days, Picks VV Richards as Best Batter of His Era
Khan’s remarks came a day after Modi in a rally in Rajasthan’s Tonk said, “There is consensus in the entire world against terrorism. We are moving ahead with strength to punish the perpetrators of terrorism…The scores will be settled this time, settled for good…This is a changed India, this pain will not be tolerated…We know how to crush terrorism.”
Recalling his conversation with Khan during a congratulatory call after he became Pakistan’s premier, Modi said he told him “let us fight against poverty and illiteracy” and Khan gave his word – saying he is a Pathan’s son – but went back on it.
A statement released by the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office said, “PM Imran Khan stand by his words that if India gives us actionable intelligence, we will immediately act.”
PM Modi should “give peace a chance”, Khan said in the statement.
Earlier on February 19 also, Khan assured India that he would act against the perpetrators of the deadly Pulwama terror attack, carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group, if it shares “actionable intelligence” with Islamabad.
India said Khan’s offer to investigate the attack if provided proof is a “lame excuse”.
“It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
As many as 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the south Kashmir’s Pulwama terror attack, when an explosive-laden SUV rammed the CRPF bus on February 14.