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Pakistan Rejects Indian Denials of Involvement in Lahore Bombing

by Staff Report
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File photo

In statement, Foreign Office reiterates allegations of Indian intelligence agency planning, executing terror attacks in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday rejected Indian denials of any role in the June 23 terror bombing in Lahore’s Johar Town area, reiterating that there is “irrefutable evidence” of Delhi aiding, abetting and financing the attack.

“There is no doubt that the intelligence agency from across the border was involved in planning and executing terrorist attacks against Pakistan,” read the statement issued by spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. “We have pointed out in the past also Indian state sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan,” he added.

On Thursday, during a weekly press briefing, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had described Pakistan’s allegations—communicated by National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf through a press conference on July 4—as “baseless propaganda.” Accusing Pakistan of repeatedly targeting India, he urged Islamabad to set its own house in order. “Pakistan would do well to … [take] credible and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorists who have found safe sanctuaries there,” he said.

Noting that “the international community is well aware of Pakistan’s credentials when it comes to terrorism,” he added: “This is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama Bin Laden as ‘martyrs.’” Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had described bin Laden as a ‘martyr’ during a parliamentary address. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has defended Khan, claiming it was a “slip of the tongue.”

In its rejoinder, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the arrest and conviction of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian spy who was apprehended from Balochistan in March 2016, as “the most familiar and undeniable face of India’s state-sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan.”

It accused India of using terrorism “as an instrument of state policy,” adding that this made Delhi “culpable under international law, U.N. sanctions regime, and international counter-terrorism conventions.”

Echoing Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the spokesperson said it was the “collective responsibility of the world community to hold India to account and take practical steps to proceed against the Indian nationals involved in patronage of terrorism against Pakistan.”

He also recalled that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism did not need India’s endorsement. “Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism perpetrated by Al Qaeda, its affiliates and state-sponsored terrorism,” read the statement. “Pakistan’s sacrifices and its achievements in fighting terrorism have been recognized by the world,” it added.

“We call upon India to dismantle its terror infrastructure against Pakistan, arrest the perpetrators of the Lahore attack, and bring them to justice without any delay,” the statement concluded.

On June 23, at least three people were killed and 24 others wounded after a car packed with explosives was detonated near the house of Jamaatud Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed. On Sunday, government officials had alleged in a press conference that authorities had found “irrefutable evidence” of India’s involvement in the bombing.

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