Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday expressed the hope that India would not commit the mistake of carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan.
Talking to reporters in Multan of eastern Punjab province, Qureshi said, "We will be compelled to respond if it happens."
Responding to a question whether possibility of war can be ruled out, Qureshi said, "If you are asking me, I am not ruling out anything. But if war is imposed, we will respond to it like a brave, self-respected and self-esteemed nation."
"I want to give a message to India that we are the torch-bearers of peace and remain committed to our desire for peace," Qureshi said, "contrary to our reasonable, cooperative and non-aggressive attitude, some elements from India were issuing provocative statements."
The official Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying that Pakistan condemned terrorism and wanted to expose those involved in terrorism and had already promised cooperation in the regard.
He said, "we will not resort to provocation while remaining committed to cooperation but at the same time we will also not tolerate any pressure."
"We want to give a message that the whole nation stands united and knows how to defend the geographical boundaries of the motherland," Qureshi said.
Qureshi said that the situation kept changing and Pakistan would prepare a strategy after examining any change. "We are continuously monitoring situation on the ground and in the air. Our Air Force and armed forces are on alert," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2008)