A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh directly blamed Pakistan for the terror attack at the Army base camp in Uri that killed 18 soldiers, Pakistan rejected India’s allegations as “totally baseless and irresponsible”.
“India has a history of blaming Pakistan immediately after a terror attack, which always proved wrong in investigations,” said Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in an interview to a TV channel.
“Pakistan always sought concrete evidence from India to prove its accusations, but it failed to do so,” he added.
Not just that, Pakistan also accused India of trying to divert attention from the tense situation in Kashmir.
“India is using different tactics to divert the world attention from the situation in occupied Kashmir,” alleged Zakaria.
Pakistan army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said that following the attack Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries discussed the situation along the Line of Control through hotline.
“Refuting the unfounded and premature Indian allegation, Pakistani DGMO asked his counterpart to share any actionable intelligence,” Radio Pakistan reported citing an ISPR release.
After the attack on Sunday morning, Home Minister Rajnath Singh directly blamed Pakistan and called it a “terrorist state” that should be isolated.
The war of words between India and Pakistan also played out in Venezuela at the Non Alignment Movement summit.
India lodged a strong protest against Islamabad at the NAM summit and accused Pakistan of its “mischievous” and “malignant” support to terror.
“The tragic incident at Uri has highlighted Pakistan’s desire to use poison instead of dialogue. We will never accept the use of brutality as an instrument in international affairs,” Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said while hitting out at Pakistan.
“The incident in Uri is a grave incident and not only India but the world is aggrieved by it. Pakistan should understand that it will be given a befitting reply and no one will back Pakistan on this,” he asserted.
India’s strong response came after Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz raised the Kashmir issue at the summit.
Aziz, in his address as the Pakistan delegation head, had said peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is tragic that 60 years after being promised, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting to exercise their inalienable right to self determination and Kashmir along with Palestine has become one of the longstanding items on the UN agenda…We should also be outraged by the horrific images of innocent Kashmiris being killed, maimed and blinded by the use of brute force in Kashmir in the last two months,” Aziz said.
Meanwhile, back home Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed security in Jammu and Kashmir and especially the border areas. Prime Minister Modi too, chaired a meeting with his top ministers and security officials, where he was apprised of the prevailing situation in the state.
A team of National Investigation Agency is also expected to visit Uri to gather leads and other evidence from the terror attack site.
Heavily-armed militants had stormed a battalion headquarters of the Indian Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town early on Sunday morning, killing 18 jawans and injuring 19 other personnel.
(With inputs from PTI)