Pakistan warns of fitting response to Indian aggression

New Delhi must answer for ‘state-sponsored espionage’ against Pakistan, says defense minister. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Pakistan warns of fitting response to Indian aggression

ISLAMABAD: “Any Indian aggression, strategic miscalculation, or misadventure… shall be met with an equal and proportionate response,” Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir said on Tuesday.
His Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday blamed Islamabad for Saturday’s attack on an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed five soldiers and a civilian and wounded nearly a dozen.
The attackers “derived support” from Pakistan, which “would pay for this adventure,” Sitharaman said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday condemned “India’s smear campaign… and the deliberate creation of war hysteria.”
Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammed Faisal on Tuesday said India’s “tendency of apportioning blame to Pakistan, without a shred of evidence, is regrettable” and carries “no credibility.”
He added: “More deplorable is (India’s) threatening tone (that) further vitiates the already tense environment marked by unprecedented cease-fire violations by India.”
Foreign relations expert Qamar Cheema told Arab News that “the reduced role of the international community on the Kashmir issue” has contributed to a deterioration in Indian-Pakistani relations and a “chaotic” regional situation.
Pakistan’s Defense Ministry vowed to defend the country’s sovereignty, and condemned New Delhi’s “silence” over Indian naval officer Kulbushan Yadev, who was arrested last year by Pakistani security forces on charges of subversive activity.
“Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan without substantiation, India must answer for state-sponsored espionage against Pakistan,” said Dastgir.
He accused India of “destabilizing regional peace” and escalating cease-fire violations along the two countries’ disputed border.
Cheema said the impasse “may lead this region to a miscalculation,” and mounting public and media pressure for all-out conflict.


Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2016, Andy Chan (R), leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), gives a press conference at the start of a rally near the government's headquarters in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2018
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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

  • The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover

HONG KONG: Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation from Monday.
Lee’s announcement did not provide further details. But Hong Kong’s security bureau had previously said in a letter to the National Party’s leader, 27-year-old Andy Chan, that the party should be dissolved “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Chan had no immediate comment.
That letter had cited a national security law that has not been invoked since 1997. The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials have warned separatist activity would not be tolerated.
Chan, the National Party leader, had previously told The Associated Press that police approached him with documents detailing his speeches and activities since the party’s formation in 2016.
The party was founded in response to frustration about Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong. Despite a promise of autonomy, activists complain mainland influence over its democratic elections is increasing.
Chan and other pro-independence candidates were disqualified from 2016 elections to the Hong Kong legislature after they refused to sign a pledge saying Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. The Hong Kong National Party has never held any seats on the council.