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'Don't mess with Pakistan,' India is told amid Kashmir tension




RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan will respond to any attack by India with “full force”, the army’s spokesman said on Friday, amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over Kashmir.


Major General Asif Ghafoor was speaking a week after a Pakistani-based militant group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary policemen the Himalayan region disputed between India and Pakistan.


India’s top military commander in the region has alleged Pakistan’s main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency was involved.


“We have no intention to initiate war, but we will respond with full force to full spectrum threat that would surprise you,” Ghafoor told reporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. “Don’t mess with Pakistan.”


The army’s response came two days after Prime Minister Imran Khan urged India to share any actionable evidence, offering full cooperation in investigating the blast.


He also offered talks with India on all issues, including terrorism, which India has always sought as a pre-requisite to any dialogue between the two arch-rivals.


India and Pakistan have fought two wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir, which both the countries claim entirely.


Ghafoor also reiterated the talks offer.


“Kashmir is a regional issue,” he said. “Let us talk about it. Let us resolve it.”


Reuters

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