Pulwama link? JeM owned up, Azhar with you: India to Imran

02/20/2019

New Delhi, Feb. 20: India tuesday took on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s disavowal of culpability in the Pulwama terror attack by accusing him of insincerity and misleading the international community.

Khan has neither chosen to condemn the heinous act nor condoled with the bereaved families, said the Indian Foreign Office. Khan had kept his counsel for nearly a week after the Pulwama attack when most heads of government in the neighbourhood had expressed their commiserations.

“Disclaiming any link with a terrorist attack is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani PM has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist who perpetrated the heinous crime. It is a well-known fact that JeM and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. It should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” the Indian Foreign Office pointed out.

Reacting to Khan’s call for de-escalation of tension through talks, that was also reiterated in a Pakistani missive to the United Nations, India said it had repeatedly stated it was ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.

But there was scant evidence of sincerity after Khan reiterated the lame excuse offered after the Mumbai attacks of offering to investigate if India provided proof. Proof was provided in 26/11, yet the case has not progressed for over 10 years.

There has no progress either on Pathankot airbase attack despite similar promises. “Promises of guaranteed action” ring hollow given the track record of Pakistan, reminded the Foreign Office.

India also questioned Khan’s claim of building a “Naya Pakistan” when his Cabinet colleagues share platforms with UN-proscribed terrorists like Hafeez Saeed and dismissed Pakistan claims to be the greatest victim of terrorism as “far from truth” because the reality is that Pakistan is the “nerve centre” of terrorism.

India, however, chose not to react to Khan. Meanwhile, a Saudi Arabian Minister said Riyadh would try to “de-escalate” tension following the Pulwama terror attack even as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived here tuesday night.

France to again seek UN ban on jaish-e-mohammad chief

New Delhi: In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, France will move a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council seeking a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. French diplomatic sources said France, along with the US and UK, will move a proposal soon under Security Council resolution 1267 calling for Azhar to be designated as an international terrorist and to seek a global ban on him. France is coordinating with the other two permanent members in wake of the evidence after the Pulwama terror attack, including the confessional pre-recorded video of suicide bomber Adil Dar. The three countries had earlier co-sponsored the motion against Azhar in UNSC — repeatedly blocked by China. TNS

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