New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has opined that since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity is rapidly shrinking, he could plan any "misadventure" to remain in power, adding that Pakistan should remain alert till the Indian elections are over.
"The armed forces, government and people of Pakistan are ready for any challenge. A fitting response would be given to any aggressive move," Imran Khan said in an informal interaction with Pakistani journalists.
The Pakistani PM also indicated that he had intelligence inputs about Indian activities in Balochistan after the 14 February killing of 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama of India-administered Kashmir.
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"There are intelligence reports of the enemy's terrorist activity increasing in Balochistan post-Pulwama," Imran Khan added.
Balochistan, a province in southwestern Pakistan, has been grappling with a long-drawn armed insurgency by Baloch nationalists.
On Friday, opposition leader Sam Pitroda started a controversy by saying "Incidents like Pulwama happen all the time, Pakistani cannot be blamed for that," to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi fired back by describing the opposition Congress party as "terror apologists."
"Loyal courtier of Congress' royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!" Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while criticising the Congress party for its alleged inaction on terror during its term.
Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 22, 2019
This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest! https://t.co/Mul4LIbKb5
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, another senior BJP leader, also argued that "there is a distinction between the non-state actors and state actors in Pakistan."
"Non-state actors are an extended limb of the state actors in Pakistan," Arun Jaitley was quoted by the Indian media as saying.
Unfortunate such people are ideologues of a political party: @arunjaitley on Sam Pitroda’s remark— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) March 22, 2019
For more updates: https://t.co/xpbkMzTmKt pic.twitter.com/JlvSJMz6nd
The Indian government's policy was to "fight terrorists when they come to the country […] Now, we go and strike at the point of origin of terror," Jaitley said, adding that this approach of the Indian government has received support from the international community.
It's a very unfortunate statement for India: Union Minister @arunjaitley on Indian Overseas Congress Chief Sam Pitroda remarks on Pulwama attack martyrs. | #CongPakCleanChit pic.twitter.com/dy7YywK1d1— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 22, 2019
Tensions between Indian and Pakistan escalated on 14 February when an explosive-laden car rammed into a security convoy on a highway in Pulwama of Jammu and Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers. Subsequently, on 26 February, India launched an airstrike inside Pakistani territory destroying a terror camp in Balakot — a claim which Pakistan ardently denies. Both sides have kept their forces on high alert with aerial exchanges and cross-border firing being reported sporadically.