Pulwama terror attack: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to have softened his diplomatic stance considering the Modi government's continuous push to sideline the country on the global level after the Pulwama attack. Days after warning of "retaliation" if India attacks Pakistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has now said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should give "peace a chance". Ignoring the Pak-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad's claim of taking responsibility for the attack, Imran Khan said he would "immediately act" if India would provide "actionable evidence" on the Pulwama attack. Khan's latest comments came after PM Modi, in his Rajasthan rally, said Imran Khan backtracked on his earlier promise of fighting together against terrorism, poverty and illiteracy.
Khan in his January 19 press briefing had outrightly denied his country's involvement in the terrorist attack that left 40 CRPF jawans dead. He even asked India to introspect and stop pointing fingers on Pakistan. Imran Khan alleged India had been targeting Pakistan without a shred of evidence. "If you think you will attack us and we will not think of retaliating, we will retaliate," he threatened.
PM Modi had said after the dastardly attack in Pulwama that time for the talk with Pakistan was now over, and that it was time for action as people across the nation were demanding to avenge the killing of the jawans.
In his Rajasthan rally on Sunday, PM Modi reiterated his claim that India would no longer tolerate the pain of terrorism. "There is a consensus in the entire world against terrorism. We are moving ahead with the 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," said PM Modi.
He also recalled his conversation with Imran Khan during a congratulatory call after he became Pakistan's premier. PM Modi said he told him "let us fight against poverty and illiteracy". Khan gave his word saying he was a Pathan's son but went back on it, added the PM.
The Pakistan Prime Minister's Office later issued a statement saying "PM Imran Khan stand by his words that if India gives us actionable intelligence, we will immediately act." It added that PM Modi should "give peace a chance". The Pakistani premier was referring to India calling off the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September last year after following the "brutal" killing of three BSF jawans by Pakistani soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the release of postal stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani by the Pakistan government.
Manoj Sharma with agency inputs