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India needs to explain security lapses leading to Pulwama attack: FO

ISLAMABAD: Reacting to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ insinuation about Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s briefings to Islamabad-based diplomats in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the Foreign Office on Sunday said India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to the attack.

In a statement, spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan had rejected Indian allegations because these were made within a short span of time following the attack and without carrying out any investigation.

“These knee-jerk and pre-conceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from Indian playbook after such incidents in the past,” he said.

The spokesperson said Jaesh-e-Mohammad (JeM) remained a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and the country was implementing its obligations with regard to sanctions on such outfits.

Read Also: Foreign Secretary briefs ambassadors over India’s anti-Pakistan propaganda

As for Indian assertions about JeM claiming responsibility for the attack and video of the attacker, he questioned “the selective and self-serving standards” that India adhered to in this respect. “Dichotomy in Indian position is evident while it accepts the unverified social media content about JeM claims of responsibility and video of the attacker as “gold standard”, it goes into denial mode when confronted with voluntary confessions and acceptance of responsibility by its serving Naval commander Jadev for perpetrating terrorist violence in Pakistan.”

Faisal said India owed an explanation on reports of Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and his being in custody since 2017.

“Pakistan desires normalisation of relations with India. In his letter to Prime Minister Modi, Prime Minister Imran Khan followed his intention of taking two steps if India takes one, with the proposal for both Foreign Ministers to meet at the sidelines of the UNGA and a comprehensive, tangible roadmap for normalisation of ties.”

“It was India which cancelled the meeting on baseless pretexts. Similarly, the Pakistan Kartarpur initiative is another step aimed at improving people to people contacts and deescalating a vitiated environment.”

He said bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is counterproductive. “India must come out of the denial mode, end state repression against Kashmiri youth, address widespread alienation in IOK and pursue the path of dialogue.”

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