Islamabad: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has indicated that his country is ready for war with India, if it's imposed on them.
"We do not want to impose war, but we are fully prepared in case war is imposed on us. We are not oblivious to our responsibilities to defend our homeland and it is a clear message. We want love and friendship, we want peace and stability in this region, but our peace mission should not be understood as the weakness of Pakistan," Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.
Quershi also ruled out handing over to India any of its citizens found to be linked to the Mumbai attacks and said that any Pakistani individual found to be involved in the incident will be tried under the country's laws.
"The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India," Qureshi was quoted as saying by PTI. "No arrested Pakistani would be handed over to India," he said.
Asked about the arrest of leaders and members of banned groups like Lashker-e-Toiba in a crackdown launched on Sunday, Qureshi said they were apprehended due to efforts made by intelligence agencies as part of the government's commitment that Pakistan's soil would not be used for terrorist activities directed against any other country.
"We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws," he said.
Qureshi said the government had made it clear that Pakistan was not involved in any way in the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad had also made an offer to jointly investigate the Mumbai attacks with India but had not yet received a response from the Indian side, he said.
Ironically, Qureshi's statement came in just after Pakistan's Defence Minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar assured that his government is willing to co-operate with India in terror investigations.
"I think the offer of the Government of Pakistan that there should be a joint probe is a very good offer. If you want to probe somebody you should have evidence against those people and we still don't have exact evidence because those people have died. A joint investigation will lead to better relations between the two countries. Our investigation team will come to India and sit with your people and will come out with findings. Thereafter you can start probing and asking questions," Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar had told CNN-IBN in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Mukhtar had also added that the present government was willing to discuss all issues with India.
"Forget the past as there was no civilian government but President Asif Ali Zardari is willing to discuss and find solutions," he said.