KARACHI (REUTERS, AFP) - Pakistan has “reliable intelligence” that India will attack again this month, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday (April 7), as tension over a February standoff between the two nuclear-armed neighbours had appeared to ease.
The attack could take place between April 16 and 20, he said.
A suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on Feb 14 and the risk of conflict rose dramatically on Feb 27, when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base.
“We have reliable intelligence that India is planning a new attack on Pakistan. As per our information this could take place between April 16 and 20,” Mr Qureshi told reporters in his hometown of Multan.
He said the ambassadors of the permanent members of the UN Security Council in Islamabad had been informed about "the plan" two days ago.
"I am saying it with responsibility and I have a responsible position, I know each word I say would make headlines in the international press," he said, stressing the reliability of his claim.
He said the planned aggression was aimed at "increasing diplomatic pressure against Pakistan".
Mr Qureshi did not elaborate on what evidence Pakistan had or how he could be so specific with the timing, but he said Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to share the information with the country.
India’s foreign office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Mr Khan blamed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “whipping up war hysteria” over claims that India shot down a Pakistani F-16 during the February standoff.
India said it, too, had shot down a Pakistani aircraft and the air force displayed pieces of a missile that it said had been fired by a Pakistani F-16 before it went down.
The success of Indian air strikes on a camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group in northwestern Pakistan has also been thrown into doubt after satellite images showed little sign of damage.
Pakistan closed its airspace amid the standoff but most commercial air traffic has since resumed and major airports have opened.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars over it.