India, on Tuesday, hit out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for refusing to acknowledge that the Pulwama attack was an act of terrorism and demanded that Islamabad stop misleading the international community and take credible and visible action against the perpetrators of the attack and other terror groups operating from areas under its control.
Responding to the Pakistan premier’s statement earlier in the day in which he stated that Pakistan would certainly retaliate if India declared war, the External Affairs Ministry chided Khan for neither choosing to condemn the heinous attack nor condoling the bereaved families.
In a strongly-worded statement, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar rejected Khan’s insinuation that India’s response to the Pulwama attack was determined by the forthcoming general election. “India’s democracy is a model for the world which Pakistan would never understand,” he said.
New Delhi pointed out that disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan was an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani PM has even ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad as well as by the terrorist who perpetrated this heinous crime.
“It is a well-known fact that JeM and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” the spokesperson said.
Calling as a “lame excuse”, the Pakistan PM’s offer to investigate the attack if India provided proof, India recalled that in the wake of the horrific 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, proof was provided to Pakistan but despite this, the case has not progressed for the last more than 10 years.
Likewise, on the terror attack on the Pathankot Airbase, there has been no progress. “Promises of guaranteed action ring hollow given the track record of Pakistan,” the spokesperson added.
On Khan’s reference to a “Naya (new) Pakistan” with a new thinking, the Indian spokesperson noted that in this “Naya Pakistan”, ministers of the government were publicly sharing platforms with terrorists like Hafeez Saeed who have been proscribed by the UN.
On the Pakistani leader’s call for dialogue and his readiness to talk about terrorism, India said it has repeatedly stated that it was ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.
“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,” it added.