We want to have friendly relations with Afghanistan and India”: Pakistani PM Gilani


Islamabad : As international pressure mounted on it, Pakistani leadership on Saturday sought to tone down the rhetoric saying it does not war but seeks friendly relations with India.

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“We don’t want to have any aggression with our neighbours. We want to have friendly relations with our neighbours, with Afghanistan (and) India.

“But at the same time, our friends are trying their best to persuade India to avoid aggression, conflict and any sort of misadventure,” said Prime Minister Gilani.

He was speaking at a religious ceremony organised at his official residence to mark the first death anniversary of former premier Benazir Bhutto. Several envoys were part of the gathering.

Gilani said he wanted to send out a message to the world community that Pakistan would not be the “the first to (resort to) any sort of misadventure” though it was capable of defending itself. The country’s armed forces were “fully prepared” for any eventuality, he added.

“I assure you once again that we will not act, we will only react,” Gilani said, adding that “as Muslims we have to defend (ourselves)”.

Separately, Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told reporters at the Bhutto family’s mausoleum at Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh province that if India tried “to occupy even an inch of Pakistani territory, the nation will face them with full strength and zero per cent tolerance”.