Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf has warned India not to "overreact" to the Pathankot terrorist attack. Tensions have been high between the two countries since six Pakistan-based terrorists engaged in a gun battle with security personnel at an Indian Air Force base on 2 January, leaving seven soldiers dead.
Speaking to a Pakistani news channel, Musharraf said that both India and Pakistan were victims of extremists and accused the New Delhi government of putting pressure on Islamabad over terrorism. The former Pakistani General said Pakistan was also suffering from what had happened in Pathankot.
"Terrorism is prevalent in both India and Pakistan," said Musharraf. "We are also victims of the same so we should not overreact to what happened in Pathankot. Yes, of course we want to control such incidents, but one should not get hyper over such incidents."
Musharraf accused India of turning to Pakistan every time a terrorist attack happened, while he claimed that India too host extremists in parts of the country. He said that there had been a rise in "disgruntlement" among India's Muslim community since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.
He also said that ties between India and Pakistan had been "moving forward" until the prime minister came into office, accusing Modi of not being "sincere" in his approach to talks with Pakistan. He accused Modi's recent visit to Pakistan as a display of "showmanship" and said that relations between the two countries wouldn't move forward as long as Modi was "hell-bent on [his] own stand".
"India's first reaction to every terrorist attack is Pakistan, but India is not free of terrorism or extremism themselves," said Musharraf. "India simply can't create pressure on Pakistan when it comes to terrorism. We may be a small country but we have honour of our own. India always treats terrorism as a one-sided issue and that infuriates me. They can't just bulldoze us when something happens there."
India's opposition party has lambasted Musharraf over his comments, accusing him of not being in a position to offer any authoritative opinions on such matters. The Congress Party's leader Panna Lal Punia accused the Pakistani government of not taking any action against the perpetrators of the Pathankot incident amid media reports that Pakistan had rejected evidence provided by Indian officials about the terrorist attack.
Punia told local news agency ANI: "Pervez Musharraf should be asked on what grounds he is making such statements. Is he making statements as the spokesperson of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or as a leader who is holding any position in the Pakistan Government?"