‘Naya Pakistan’ Needs to Show ‘Naya’ Action Against Terrorism: MEA
Pakistan will be judged by the steps it takes against terror, and not by its promises. Pakistani government must show new action taken against terror groups and infrastructure on its soil, if it claims to be naya (new) Pakistan, said Raveesh Kumar spokesperson for the Minister of External Affairs, on Saturday, 9 March.
There is Proof of Shooting Down F-16
Answering questions on the aerial combat between Indian and Pakistani air forces in the last week of February, Kumar said Pakistan should provide evidence to back their claim that they had shot down a second MIG-21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. He said questions must be asked to Pakistan on where the fuselage and pilot of this second MIG-21 are.
On the Indian claim that an F-16 was shot down by IAF, Kumar said: “There are eyewitness accounts, electronic evidence that Pakistan deployed F-16 aircraft, and one aircraft was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan…. Pakistan should clarify why it continued to deny that its F-16 aircraft has been shot down.”
When asked if the Indian government will present the evidence of shooting down a Pakistani F-16, he said: “We stand by the statement that has been made by the Indian Air Force … Indian Air Force MIG-21 Bison, piloted by the Wing Commander Abhinandan shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 aircraft.”
He added that MEA has asked its counterparts in the US to examine whether the use of F-16 against India is in accordance with the terms and conditions of the sale.
Is Pakistan JeM’s Spokesperson?
Citing an interview given by the Pakistan Foreign Minister to the BBC, Kumar questioned whether Pakistan had become the spokesperson for the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“It is regrettable that Pakistan still continues to deny Jaish-e-Mohammed’s own claim of taking ownership of the Pulwama attack. In his interview to BBC on 1 March, Pakistan Foreign Minister said, and I quote, ‘they have not claimed responsibility of that (Pulwama attack). There is some confusion on that. The confusion is that the leadership has been contacted and they said no’ unquote. Is Pakistan defending the Jaish-e-Mohammed and acting as its spokesperson? Does Pakistan’s claim have any credibility?,” he asked.
On Satellite Image: Pakistan has Much to Hide
Responding to the foreign media reports, based on satellite images, claiming the targets were not hit in Balakot, the spokesperson said India is absolutely confident that the strikes on Balakot were successful and achieved the desired objectives.
He claimed that Pakistan refusing to allow journalists to visit the site of the attack shows that they have much to hide.
He also added that members of the UN Security Council are aware of the JeM training camps in Pakistan and about JeM chief Masood Azhar’s presence in Pakistan; and their support is expected in declaring Masood Azhar a terrorist.
‘Pakistan Needs to Act and Not Just Talk’
Talking about India’s expectations from Pakistan, he said promises of acting against terrorism have been made in the past as well. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is merely repeating what the then President General Musharraf had said in 2004.
“He made a solemn commitment that they will not allow any territory, under their control to be used for any terrorist activities in any manner. Both India and the international community are aware of the lack of seriousness by Pakistan in holding on to their own commitment,” he said.
He said the Indian allegation of Pakistan not honouring its word is not a mere statement, but something that has been proven over the years. “Now Pakistan will not be judged by the words they speak, but by the action they take. The proof of action is not in issuing a notation, but in destroying actual infrastructure of terror in the ground, and also it should be verified,” he said.
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