Pakistan also accused India of repression in J&K and asked it to “pursue the path of dialogue”.
New Delhi: Still living in denial about its open support to terror and accusing Ind-ia instead of “well-rehe-arsed tactics from Indian playbook”, Pakistan on Sunday claimed that terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) “remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation”.
A defiant Pakistan asked India instead to “respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack” and had the audacity of asking New Delhi to explain so-called “reports of Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and custody since 2017”. Dar was the suicide bomber who attacked out the Pulwama attack. Islamabad also chose to dismiss the testimony and confession of the suicide bomber himself that was recorded by him before he carried out the attack, terming the confession “unverified social media content” and taunting India about accepting it as “gold standard”.
Stating that it desires normalisation of relations with India, a smug Islamabad claimed that “bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is both delusional and counterproductive”. Pa-kistan also accused Ind-ia of repression in J&K and asked it to “pursue the path of dialogue”.
It may be recalled that India had pointed out earlier that the JeM had already claimed responsibility for the attack and had termed Paki-stan’s demand for an investigation as “preposterous when there is a video of the bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM”.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) in New Delhi had said, “JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack. The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. … Furthermore, the demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established.”
New Delhi had further said, “LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities. They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists.”
But brazenly rejecting India’s stand, the Pakistan Foreign Office on Sunday said, “Pakistan had rejected Indian 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. JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation.”
Flouting all logic and pouring salt on India’s wounds, Pakistan claimed, “India needs 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.”
Desperate to deny its role, Pakistan questioned how India could believe the video testimony of Dar while rejecting that of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, with Islamabad conveniently ignoring the fact that Jadhav’s so-called confession had been made when he was in Pakistani military custody. A Pakistani military court had earlier sentenced Jadhav to death, with Pakistan accusing him of terrorism and espionage, allegations that India has rejected.
Islamabad claimed, “Pakistan desires normalisation of relations with India. … the Pakistan Kartarpur initiative is another step aimed at improving people to people contacts and deescalating a vitiated environment. … Bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is both delusional and counterproductive.”