Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday during a diplomatic trip to the United Arab Emirates claimed India was planning a surgical strike against his country.
Addressing the media, Qureshi said: “I’ve learned through our intelligence forces… that India is planning a surgical strike against Pakistan.” He added India was “trying to seek tacit approval” for the strike from “important players who they consider to be their partners”.
Soon, Moeed Yusuf, special assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on national security issues, repeated the claim in a series of tweets, adding “specific and reliable intelligence of Indian plans to attempt surgical strikes”. He also threatened to “teach India a lesson it deserves”.
Yusuf is considered to be close to the Pakistan Army and also the ISI.
A number of ministers and senior Pakistani officials have also tweeted the claim and the country’s media has latched on to the claim. It is worth noting, no proofs have been submitted to support the claim.
However, this is not the first time Pakistan has made such a claim. Earlier also, Imran on multiple occasions accused India of planning “false flag operations” in order to create conditions justifying action against the country.
Experts say the claim is the Pakistan government’s efforts to divert domestic attention from the opposition’s campaign against the Imran Khan government.
Protests against the government have gathered momentum over the past few months. On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters defied Covid-19 restrictions to demand Imran’s resignation and fresh parliamentary elections
Imran has been accused of working at the behest of the army.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement, an umbrella alliance of the 11 opposition parties, has also planned a march in Islamabad in January.
The government has been pushed to a corner because of increasing inflation, a poor economy and restrictions on civil liberties and media censorship. Both Imran and the military have been blamed for all these.
Hence, it seems Islamabad, sensing an opportunity now, is trying its best to back the claim and thereby shift the attention from its own inadequacies.