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Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on the Pulwama attack, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on Tuesday, 19 February, said, “We are not surprised that the prime minister of Pakistan refuses to acknowledge the attack on our security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism. Prime minister of Pakistan has neither chosen to condemn this heinous act nor condoled with the bereaved families.”
MEA Rejects Pakistan PM’s Statement on Pulwama Attack
The MEA also said, “Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani prime minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime. It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action.”
It added, “The prime minister of Pakistan has offered to investigate the matter if India provides proof. This is a lame excuse. In the horrific attack in Mumbai on 26/11, proof was provided to Pakistan. Despite this, the case has not progressed for the last more than 10 years. Likewise, on the terror attack on Pathankot airbase, there has been no progress. Promises of “guaranteed action” ring hollow given the track record of Pakistan.”
The MEA accused the ministers of the current Pakistan government of publicly sharing platforms with terrorists like Hafeez Saeed who have been proscribed by the United Nations.
It added, “Pakistan’s prime minister has called for dialogue and expressed his readiness to talk about terrorism. India has repeatedly stated that it is ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.”
“Pakistan claims to be the greatest victim of terrorism. This is far from truth. The international community is well acquainted with the reality that Pakistan is the nerve centre of terrorism.”
It added, “It is regrettable that the Pakistani prime minister has insinuated that India’s response to the terrorist attack is determined by the forthcoming General Election. India rejects this false allegation. India’s democracy is a model for the world which Pakistan would never understand. We demand Pakistan to stop misleading the international community and take credible and visible action against the perpetrators of Pulwama terrorist attack and other terrorists and terror groups operating from areas under their control.”
Imran Rejects Link Between Pakistan & Pulwama Attack
Reacting to the Pulwama attack of 14 February for the first time, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, 19 February, said anybody using Pakistan to attack India, is their enemy as well.
In a live statement, he rejected any links of his country to the attack.
“It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want to tell Indian government that we will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan has nothing to gain from the Pulwama incident.
He said the Indian government should engage in talks and discussion and warned that Pakistan will retaliate if India considers attack.
“If you (Indian government) attack us then we too will retaliate. We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us only God knows. This issue should be solved through dialogue,” he said.
“We hope India takes a cue from Afghanistan dialogue and participates in talks,” he also said.
He further stressed that Pakistan is moving towards embracing a ‘new mindset’ and is looking to recover from the menace of terrorism. “Pakistan is a country that has been affected most due to terrorism. We have lost 70,000 lives in 15 years. We are marching towards stability at the moment,” he said.
The Pakistan PM clarified that he had refrained from making a statement on the issue earlier, as that would have shifted the focus from Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Sultan’s visit to his country.