Tension is mounting between nuclear neighbors, India and Pakistan as Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on Sunday warned that India will be given a "befitting response" if it was reckless enough to carry out a "false-flag operation" against Pakistan.
In a series of tweets, the premier warned that India's BJP-led Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will conduct such an operation against Pakistan to divert attention from the country's "internal mess".
"I am making [it] absolutely clear to the [international] community that if India was to be reckless enough to conduct a false flag operation against Pakistan, it would confront a strong national Pakistani resolve and be given a befitting response at all levels of the threat. Make no mistake," he stated.
It may be recalled that in February 2019, Indian Air Force attacked Balakot (Pakistan) after nearly 40 Indian soldiers were killed and many others injured when the army convoy was attacked in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district. India had accused Pakistan for this attack. The next day, on February 27, 2019 the Pakistan Air Force launched a swift retort operation, by degrading the communication and the situation awareness of the Indian Air Force.
According to Indian Defense Analyst Pravin Sawhney the PAF was able to do that because it had integrated the airborn-electronic-warfare attack capabilities in their air maneuver profile. The PLAF (Chinese Air Force) is very good in integrating the electronic warfare attack capabilities into their air maneuvers. Sawhney says that Pakistan acquired this capability by Shaheen series of exercises that PAF is doing with PLAF since 2012.
Prime Minister's statement comes two days after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi revealed in the United Arab Emirates that the government had credible information that India was planning a 'surgical strike' against Pakistan to divert attention from its internal affairs and that it was trying to seek "tacit approval" for the move from its international partners.
"I want to again warn the world community, as India's internal problems mount, especially economic recession, growing farmers protests and mishandling of Covid-19, the Modi government will divert from the internal mess by conducting a false flag operation against Pakistan," the prime minister wrote.
The Prime Minister also condemned what he called a "rogue behavior" of targeting of a United Nations vehicle by Indian troops on Friday that was carrying two officers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) near the Line of Control.
"In complete violation of international law, India's deliberate firing at LoC on UNMOGIP vehicle, despite clear UN markings and flying blue UN flag, shows India's total disregard for all international norms of acceptable state behavior and respect for UNMOGIP law and UN," he said.
Imran Khan pointed out that there had been 3,000 Indian ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary so far in 2020 alone. He said the "unprovoked firing deliberately targeting civilians" resulted in 276 casualties, of which 92 were women and 68 children.
On Friday, Al Jazeera reported that Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while speaking to the press in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi said that India is preparing to launch a "surgical [military] strike" on Pakistani soil and had called for the international community to help de-escalate the situation between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Qureshi warned Pakistan would strike back 'a notch above' if it was attacked by India. His presser came on the same day that the Indian army "deliberately" fired upon a UN vehicle carrying two military observers on a routine monitoring mission along the restive LoC in Pakistan administered Kashmir, according to officials. The vehicle was damaged by the firing but the officers remained unhurt.
Later on Friday, the UN confirmed that a UNMOGIP vehicle was damaged after it was hit by an "unidentified object" near Rawalakot. It said the incident was being investigated. On December 18, Army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said that the Indian Army resorted to unprovoked fire in Chirikot Sector of the LoC, adding that the Indian troops deliberately targeted a UN vehicle with two military observers on board.
According to the ISPR, the UN military observers were en route to Polas village in Chirikot sector to interact with villagers affected by unabated ceasefire violations by India.