India gives Pak dossier with details of JeM role

India gives Pak dossier with details of JeM role

Border Security Force personnel walk along a fence at the India-Pakistan border on the outskirts of Amritsar on February 27, 2019. AFP

India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan a dossier detailing complicity of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the February 14 terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad that it would expect the government of the neighbouring country to take “immediate and verifiable” action against the JeM in particular and the terrorism emanating from its territory in general.

Syed Haider Shah, Islamabad's deputy envoy to New Delhi, was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), where senior diplomats served him a démarche, protesting against the intrusion by the fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) into the airspace of India early on Wednesday. The MEA officials also handed over a dossier to the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan to India, which had specific details of the JeM's complicity in Pulwama attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leaders in his country.

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had on February 19 stated that Islamabad would conduct a probe if New Delhi shared with it “evidence” or “actionable intelligence” linking individuals or entities in his country with the killing of over 40 CRPF personnel in the suicide bombing. New Delhi, however, had rejected the offer, arguing that the JeM itself had claimed responsibility for the attack and the proof demanded by Imran Khan had been available in his country itself.

The démarche served to the Pakistan envoy pointed it out that the raid by PAF's aircraft on Wednesday was an “unprovoked act of aggression” as they not only intruded into “Indian airspace” but also targeted “Indian military posts”.

New Delhi noted that the operation was “in contrast” to India’s “non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp” at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan on Tuesday. “It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India,” the MEA said in a statement later.

New Delhi also clearly conveyed to Islamabad that India reserved the right to take “firm and decisive action” to protect its “national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism”.

India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s “vulgar display” of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who landed in the custody of Pakistan Army after the MiG 21 Bison he was flying crashed inside the territory under control of the neighbouring country.

The MEA said in a statement that the display of the injured personnel of the IAF was “in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention”.

“It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the MEA, said. “Regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control.”