Pakistan rejects India’s Pulwama ‘charge sheet’ as bid to mask state terrorism in occupied Kashmir


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday categorically rejected a so-called “charge sheet” by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) which “mischievously attempts to implicate Pakistan in the Pulwama attack” as a bid to “divert attention from Indian state terrorism in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Pulwama attack took place in the disputed territory last year in which over 40 Indian soldiers were killed, an incident New Delhi was quick to pin on Pakistan and which raised tensions in the region. Pakistan has consistently denied the allegations and has asked for actionable evidence.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said the “fabrications in the reported ‘charge sheet’ are patently designed to further the BJP’s anti-Pakistan rhetoric and its narrow domestic political interests”.

At the outset, Pakistan had rejected India’s baseless allegations and expressed readiness to extend cooperation on the basis of any actionable information, the Foreign Office said. “India failed to provide any credible evidence for its invective and has instead been using the attack for its malicious propaganda campaign against Pakistan.”

The Foreign Office also called into question the timing of the Pulwama attack. It said: “Just two months before the Lok Sabha elections in India, and the fact that explosives used in the attack were collected from inside IIOJK, and the key accused persons in the attack have already been killed by Indian forces, raise too many questions. The world knows well as to who benefited the most from Pulwama attack and drew electoral dividends.”

Pakistan also drew attention to the events on February 26 last year, when Indian military aircraft “engaged in belligerent action against Pakistan”. “The Indian misadventure was effectively countered by the Pakistan Air Force, which resulted in the downing of two Indian warplanes and capture of an Indian pilot. Despite India’s provocations, the Indian pilot was released by Pakistan as a peace gesture,” it added.

The statement said in response to a paper shared by the Indian government following the Pulwama attack, Pakistan constituted a high-level investigation team to examine its contents. As the information provided by India was “incomplete, patchy and unsubstantiated”, Pakistan shared two Aide-mémories, seeking further information and supporting evidence from India.

“India has been unable to provide any corroboration of its unfounded allegations,” it added.

The Foreign Office continued: “India cannot mislead the world community with its motivated propaganda. Indian allegations against Pakistan seek to divert attention from India’s state-terrorism in IIOJK, grave human rights violations of the Kashmiri people under Indian occupation, and the RSS-BJP regime’s mishandling of domestic issues.”

“Pakistan has been forewarning the international community about India’s use of ‘false flag’ operation and possible ill-conceived misadventure,” it said. “With the approaching state elections in India, the RSS-BJP ploy of raising the Pakistan bogey again for making electoral gains is palpable.”

“We warn the world community again to be cognisant of its dangerous consequences for peace and security in the region.”