By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi said he has “reliable intelligence” that India will attack his country later this month and has informed the UN about the matter.
Qureshi said in the southern town of Multan on April 7 that the attack could take place between April 16 and 20.
He did not elaborate or say what information he has that suggests an Indian attack could soon be made but said Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to make the information public.
Qureshi said Pakistan had told the five permanent members of the UN Security Council about the possibility of the attack.
India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar, in a statement posted on Twitter, dismissed as “irresponsible and preposterous” the comments made by Qureshi.
The minister had “a clear objective of whipping up war hysteria in the region. This public gimmick appears to be a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India,” the statement said.
The Pakistani minister’s comments come as tensions nearly boiled over between the two nuclear-armed neighbors after a series of violent incidents in February.
On February 14, a suicide car-bombing claimed by Pakistan-based militants in the Indian-controlled, disputed territory of Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian security members.
Pakistan denied any role in the attack.
Two weeks later, the threat of a broader conflict breaking out rose dramatically when India launched an air strike on what it said was a militant training base. That led to a series of dogfights over the Kashmir frontier.
The next day Pakistan shot down an Indian fighter jet and captured its pilot. He was later released.
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 was shot down.
Pakistan said on April 6 that India had not shot down any of its planes. Islamabad blamed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “whipping up war hysteria” over those claims.
But India said it stood by its claim and had proof that it had downed the Pakistani jet.
Pakistan closed its airspace during the standoff but most air traffic has since resumed and the country’s biggest airports have reopened.