Suicide bomber’s video proves Jaish carried out attack

India rejects Pakistan’s claim that it is being blamed without probe.
Last Updated 17 February 2019, 02:12 IST

India on Friday said that the video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) member and other audio-visual and print materials available with it clearly proved that the terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Jammu and Kashmir was carried out by the terrorist outfit based in Pakistan.

New Delhi rejected Islamabad’s allegation that India had blamed it for the terror attack on the CRPF personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir without conducting an investigation.

“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said. “There are also other audio-visual and print materials linking (the) JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim (by the JeM that it had carried out the attack) is firmly established.”

The MEA spokesperson issued the statement after Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua briefed the envoys of the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom in Islamabad and rejected New Delhi’s allegation against the neighbouring country over the attack on the CRPF personnel.

“She (Janjua) noted (while briefing the envoys of the foreign nations) familiar Indian pattern of immediate and reflexive assignment of blame on Pakistan without investigations,” Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Government, tweeted.

New Delhi responded underlining that the JeM itself had claimed responsibility for the attack. “The organization (JeM) and its leadership (Masood Azhar) are located in Pakistan. (The) LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan,” noted the MEA spokesperson. “Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.”

New Delhi alleged that Islamabad had not taken any action against the JeM, LeT and the other terror organizations “despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals prescribed by the United Nations 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,” said Kumar.

Pakistan also claimed on Friday that it had pursued “a constructive approach” in its engagement with India. Janjua told the envoys of the five permanent members (P-5) of the United Nations Security Council that Islamabad had offered to restart the stalled dialogue with New Delhi. She also cited the example of Islamabad’s recent move to work with New Delhi to build a corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the birthplace of Guru Nanak in Pakistan without requiring passports and visas.

New Delhi, however, responded, saying that it had not seen “any constructive approach” from Pakistan on relations with India. “What we have noticed, however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organizations such as (the) JeM on the other,” said the MEA spokesperson. “We demand Pakistan 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.”

Janjua briefed the envoys of the P-5 nations after her counterpart in New Delhi, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, led New Delhi’s diplomatic campaign to expose the role of Pakistan in exporting terror to India. Gokhale also met the envoys of the P-5 nations in New Delhi. He also briefed the top diplomats of 20 other nations based in the capital of India. Sources in New Delhi said that all the Heads of Missions had been “left in no doubt” about the role played by the JeM, which was based in and supported by Pakistan. New Delhi conveyed to the foreign envoys that Pakistan must cease forthwith all support and financing to terror groups operating from areas under its control.

Earlier, Gokhale summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Sohail Mahmood, to his office at South Block and served him a strong served him a démarche, conveying New Delhi's anguish over the terror attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed. India also asked its envoy to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, to come to New Delhi for consultations with the Foreign Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs as well as Prime Minister's Office on the future course of action against the neighbouring country.

Janjua too summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, Gaurav Ahluwalia, to her office in Islamabad and formally rejected New Delhi’s allegation against the neighbouring country over the killing of the CRPF personnel.

(Published 15 February 2019, 20:25 IST)

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