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‘Pakistan nerve center of terrorism’: MEA rebuts Imran Khan’s claims on Pulwama

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had accused India of blaming his government over the Pulwama attack "without any evidence", despite the Pak-based JeM claiming responsibility for the attack. 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had accused India of blaming his government over the Pulwama attack “without any evidence”. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool/File Photo)

In a sharp riposte to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on his response to Pulwama terror attack, India on Tuesday said it was not surprised that Islamabad refused to acknowledge the attack as an act of terrorism and demanded that Pakistan take “credible and visible action” against its perpetrators.

“We are not surprised that Pakistan PM refuses to acknowledge the attack on our security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism. Prime Minister of Pakistan has neither chosen to condemn this heinous act nor condoled,” the Ministry of External Affairs said, hours after Khan ruled out his country’s involvement in the deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. READ | Pakistan PM Imran Khan: Open to probe, will retaliate if India attacks

“India’s democracy is a model for the world which Pakistan would never understand. We demand Pakistan to stop misleading the international community and take credible and visible action against the perpetrators of Pulwama terror attack,” it said.

It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan, the MEA said. “These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” it said.

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Earlier, Khan had accused India of blaming the Pakistan government over the Pulwama terror attack “without any evidence”, despite the JeM claiming responsibility for the attack. “This is a New Pakistan… we want stability. We do not benefit by attacking India,” Khan had said in a pre-recorded message. “It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want to tell Indian govt that we will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan.”

Explained: Imran Khan’s speech had these two significant departures

“If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved. Give it to us. I guarantee you we will take action – not because we are under pressure, but because they are acting as enemies of Pakistan,” Khan had said.

Describing Khan’s offer to investigate the matter as “a lame excuse”, the MEA said, “In the horrific attack in Mumbai on 26/11, proof was provided to Pakistan. Despite this, the case has not progressed for the last more than 10 years.”

“Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. Pak PM has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime,” the MEA statement read. “Pakistan claims to be the greatest victim of terrorism. This is far from truth. The international community is well acquainted with the reality that Pakistan is the nerve centre of terrorism.”

In his statement, Khan also warned New Delhi against launching any “revenge” retaliatory action. “It is your election year and we understand that during elections you will get a boost to teach Pakistan a lesson. If you think, you would launch any attack on Pakistan and we would not think of retaliating, Pakistan will retaliate,” Khan had said.

Censuring Khan for his remarks, the MEA further said, “It is regrettable that the Pakistani Prime Minister has insinuated that India’s response to the terrorist attack is determined by the forthcoming General Election. India rejects this false allegation.”

Pulwama attack perpetrators reside in country where Imran Khan is PM: Jaitley

Hitting out at Imran Khan for seeking “actionable intelligence” over the Pulwama terror attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the perpetrators of the gruesome act reside in the country where Khan is the Prime Minister. Jaitley also said there was not even a pretext of outright condemnation of the incident, let alone sympathy for the bereaved families of the deceased CRPF personnel.

“It is a very shallow logic put forward by Imran Khan on providing actionable intelligence as though the origin of the crime in not known. Here the perpetrators have admitted to the crime, there is a confession by them. Even though this confession is in the form of muscle flexing,” Jaitley said.

The Union Finance Minister, who had last week said there was “incontrovertible evidence” about Pakistan’s “direct” involvement in the attack, claimed that there has been universal condemnation of the dastardly act of terrorism in Pulwama.

“The global community has endorsed India’s stand in a major way. Our security forces are extremely confident of dealing with the situation. The masterminds (of JeM) have been liquidated,” he said.