Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday said that Jaish-e-Mohammad, which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack, was banned in 2002 and Islamabad was fulfilling its obligations on sanctions as per the law.
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle with explosives into their bus.
Pakistan-based terror group JeM claimed responsibility for the attack on the CRPF convoy.
In a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack, India has highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
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India has slammed Pakistan for stating that it had no role in the Pulwama attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group JeM, saying Islamabad could not claim that it was unaware of the presence of terror groups on its soil as the links of such outfits to the country were there for everyone to see.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack. The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan.”
Pakistani ministers had shared the same podium with UN-proscribed terrorists, Kumar said.
Kumar said India demands that Pakistan should take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region, free of terror.
But Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal rejected India’s allegation that Pakistan was behind the attack.
“JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation,” he said.
Faisal said Pakistan rejected India’s allegations because these were made within a short time from the attack and without carrying out any investigations.
“These knee-jerk and pre-conceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from Indian playbook after such incidents in the past,” he said.
As for Indian assertions about “JeM claims of responsibility” and purported “video of the attacker”, he questioned the selective and self-serving standards that India adhered to in this respect.
Faisal said on the one hand, India accepted the unverified social media content as “gold standard” but was not ready to accept the “confessions” by its national Kulbhushan Jadhav for perpetrating violence in Pakistan.
He said India needed to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack. India owes an explanation on reports of Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and custody since 2017.
Pakistan desired normalisation of relations with India and in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Imran Khan followed his intention of taking two steps if India takes one, with the proposal for both Foreign Ministers to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Faisal said.
“It was India which cancelled the meeting on baseless pretexts,” he said.