New Delhi on Sunday rejected as “irresponsible and preposterous” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement that India was planning to attack his country again between 16 and 20 April. Calling Pakistan’s claim of India planning attack a “public gimmick”, the Ministry External Affairs said it appeared to be a “call to Pakistan-based terrorists to undertake a terror attack in India”.

Strongly reacting to the claim made by Qureshi during a press conference in his hometown of Multan, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the statement was aimed at whipping up war hysteria in the region.

He said India had made clear to Pakistan that it could not 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,” said Kumar.

The MEA spokesperson said Pakistan had been advised to use established diplomatic and DGMO channels to share any actionable and credible intelligence it had about imminent terror attacks. At the same time, he added, India reserved the right to respond firmly and decisively to any cross-border terrorist attack.

At his press conference, Qureshi had said Islamabad had reliable intelligence that India was devising a new plan. “A new mishap could be staged…And its purpose will be to justify their [India’s] offensive against Pakistan and to increase diplomatic pressure on Islamabad,” he was quoted as saying.

“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,” the minister had said.