Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a state visit to the US, again attacked India on Friday evening. Sharif warned that Pakistan will take “credible deterrent” measures to counter Indian “arms build-up” and “dangerous military doctrines”.
“While refusing dialogue, India is engaged in a major arms build-up, regrettably with the active assistance of several powers. It has adopted dangerous military doctrines….This will compel Pakistan to take several counter measures to preserve credible deterrence,” said Sharif in his address to the US Institute of Peace (USIP), a top think-tank in the country.
Keeping up his attack on PM Narendra Modi, Sharif claimed that he made several “sincere efforts” to improve relationship with India after he came to power two-and-a-half years ago.
“I accepted his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s) invitation to attend his swearing-in ceremony New Delhi,” he said.
He blamed India for cancelling NSA-level talks on a “flimsy excuse” and narrowing the talks to just one issue of terrorism after his meeting with Modi at Ufa in Russia in July.
“The cancellation of NSA-level talks have been followed by increased ceasefire violations by India across the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary, and a stream of hostile statements by Indian political and military leadership,” Sharif alleged.
While addressing the US think-tank, Sharif was heckled by a protester with slogans like, “free Balochistan”, “stop war crimes in Balochistan.” The protestor also called Sharif a “friend of (Osama) Bin Laden”.
The protester who was later identified as Ahmar Musti Khan of the Free Balochistan Campaign USA, alleged that the Pakistani Army was engaging in abductions, torture and killings in the Balochistan province.
He was also holding a poster that read “Pakistan, China: Hands off Balochistan” before being dragged out of the auditorium by the security forces.
The shouting of slogans forced Sharif to pause briefly during his speech.
Meanwhile, ahead of Sharif’s visit, the organization Free Balochistan Campaign USA, had said it will hold peaceful rallies outside the White House to protest against atrocities of the Pakistan Army in Balochistan.
Sharif is on his second bilateral visit to the US. On Thursday, he held talks with US President Barack Obama where he raised the Kashmir issue with President Obama, seeking US’ intervention to resolve the matter.
(With inputs from PTI)