India denies involvement in terrorist attack in Pakistan
By Ahmad Adil and Islamuddin Sajid
NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (AA): India on Thursday denied allegations by Pakistan that New Delhi was behind a bomb blast last month in the city of Lahore.
During a weekly briefing, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi described the allegations as “baseless propaganda.”
“It is not new for Pakistan to engage in baseless propaganda against India,” he said.
“Pakistan would do well to expend the same effort in setting its own house in order and taking credible and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorists who have found safe sanctuaries there.”
Noting that “the international community is well aware of Pakistan’s credentials when it comes to terrorism,” Bagchi added that “this is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama Bin Laden as ‘martyrs.’”
Reacting to India’s denial of its involvement in the June 23 terrorist attack, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected New Delhi’s statement and said there is irrefutable evidence of India’s aiding, abetting and financing of the terrorist attack.
“We have pointed out in the past also Indian state sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan,” said Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a statement.
“There is no doubt that the intelligence agency from across the border was involved in planning and executing terrorist attacks against Pakistan,” he added.
He accused India of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy and said it makes New Delhi culpable under international law, the UN sanctions regime and international counter-terrorism conventions.
Chaudhri said former Indian Naval officer “Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was caught red-handed in March 2016, is the most familiar and undeniable face of India’s state sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan.”
He urged the international community to hold India to account and take practical steps to proceed against the Indian nationals involved in patronage of terrorism against Pakistan.
On June 23, at least three people were killed and 24 others wounded in a powerful blast near the house of Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a militant group operating in South Asia.
On Sunday, Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan’s national security adviser, said his country’s intelligence agencies had found irrefutable evidence of India’s involvement in the Lahore terrorist attack.
“A detailed forensic [analysis] of all the equipment, including cellular phones, has been conducted, which has clearly indicated a connection with Indian state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan,” Yusuf told reporters.
There is “no doubt that the Johar Town blast and cyberattacks are interlinked and state-supported by India,” he said.
“We presented a detailed dossier in November last year with very minute details highlighting terror financing, phone calls indicating network linkages and a terrorism racket run by India.”
Last year, Pakistan said India was funding the banned terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and ethnic Baloch armed separatist groups that conducted attacks on Pakistani soil. The allegations have been denied by New Delhi.
[Photo: Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jamaat ud Dawa. Photo by Nylequreshi263/Wikimedia/Creative Commons]
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