India Sunday rejected as "irresponsible" and "preposterous" Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's claim that India was planning to carry out another attack on Pakistan, saying his comments were aimed at whipping up war hysteria in the region.
Qureshi told reporters in Multan that Pakistan has "reliable intelligence" that India was planning to attack Pakistan again between April 16 and 20, adding that five permanent members of the UN Security Council were apprised about it.
In a strongly worded statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar termed Qureshi's comments as "public gimmick" appearing to be "a call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India."
"India rejects the irresponsible and preposterous statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan with 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," Kumar said.
He said India reserves the right to respond "firmly and decisively" to any cross-border terrorist attack.
India struck the biggest terrorist training camp of terror group Jaish-e-Muhammed deep inside Pakistan on February 26, twelve days after the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack.
On February 27, the Pakistan Air Force retaliated by unsuccessfully targeting several military installations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Kumar said it has been made clear to Pakistan that it cannot absolve itself of responsibility of a cross-border terrorist attack in India.
"No attempt at creating an alibi for its complicity in such attacks will succeed. Pakistan needs to take credible and irreversible steps against terrorism operating from all territories under its control rather than making hysterical statements to obfuscate the core issue that bedevils our region: cross-border terrorism," he said.
The MEA spokesperson said Pakistan has been advised to use established diplomatic and DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) channels to share any actionable and credible intelligence it has about imminent terror attacks.
Earlier in the day, Qureshi told a press conference in his hometown of Multan that India was devising a new plan to attack Pakistan.
"A new mishap could be staged... And its purpose will be to justify their [India's] offensive against Pakistan and to increase diplomatic pressure against Islamabad," he alleged.
"If it happens, you can imagine the impact of the occurrence on the peace and stability of the region. According to our information, the action could be taken between 16-20 April," Qureshi said.
He further said, "We want the international community to take notice of this irresponsible behaviour and reprimand them [India] for taking this route."