Pakistan says no militant camps exist on 22 locations shared by India
Islamabad, Mar 28: Pakistan on Thursday said it examined the 22 “pin locations” shared by India but found no militant camps there and also claimed that it could not establish any links between the 54 people detained by authorities here and the Pulwama attack.
Making public more details of Pakistan’s “preliminary findings” after India submitted a dossier to Islamabad after the Pulwama suicide attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber on February 14, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said it was willing to allow visits, on request, to the 22 locations.
“While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far,” it said in a statement, a day after asking India to provide “more information/evidence” on the involvement of the JeM in the deadly Pulwama attack and the presence of camps of the UN-proscribed militant outfit in the country.
Amidst intense international pressure on Islamabad after the Pulwama attack, authorities here announced the preventive detention of over 120 members of banned militant outfits in the country.
Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother were among 44 members of the banned militant outfits arrested by authorities in Pakistan, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said on March 5.
Ministry of Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan said Hammad Azhar and Mufti Abdur Rauf were among those arrested on Tuesday. Hammad is the son of Masood Azhar while Rauf is his brother.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said, “Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations.”
It said that in consistent with its commitment to cooperate, Pakistan on Wednesday shared “preliminary findings” of its investigations with India along with a set of questions.
“Subsequently, the diplomatic corps in Islamabad was briefed as well,” the FO said.
India handed over the dossier to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi on February 27 with “specific details” of JeM’s complicity in the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on February 14 and the presence of JeM camps and its leadership in Pakistan.
The FO said soon after receiving the dossier, Pakistan constituted an investigation team, detained a number of people for investigation and initiated work on the technical aspects of social media content, a main basis of the Indian documents.
The Indian dossier contains 91 pages and six parts, out of which only part two and three pertain to the Pulwama attack, it said.
“Other parts are generalised allegations. Pakistan is focusing on those parts which relate to Pulwama incident,” it said.
The FO claimed that during the course of investigations, all aspects of the information provided by India have been thoroughly examined including the “confessional” video of Adil Dar, “claim” of responsibility for the attack, WhatsApp and Telegram numbers used to share videos and messages in support of the Pulwama attack, list of 90 individuals suspected of belonging to a proscribed organisation and 22 pin locations of alleged training camps.
Service Providers have been requested for data including relevant details of activities and contacts of the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) number provided by India, it said.
A request for assistance from WhatsApp has also been made to the US government, it said, adding that the said additional information and documents from India would be essential to continue the process of investigations.
“Pakistan remains committed to taking this process to its logical conclusion,” the FO added.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the suicide bomber of JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel.
India launched airstrikes against what it claimed was a “JeM training camp” in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 01.
India disappointed over Pak response
New Delhi, Mar 28: India on Thursday expressed disappointment over Pakistan’s response to its dossier on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in the Pulwama attack, saying Islamabad continues to be in “denial” on the issue of “cross border terrorism”.
India’s response came a day after Pakistan sought more information and evidence from New Delhi on the involvement of the JeM in the Pulwama suicide attack and the presence of camps of the militant outfit in Pakistan.
“India is disappointed at Pakistan’s response to our detailed dossier on the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s complicity in the cross-border terror attack in Pulwama, the presence of its terror camps and leadership in Pakistan,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“Regrettably, Pakistan continues to be in denial and even refuses to acknowledge Pulwama as a terror attack,” he said.
The MEA spokesperson said Pakistan has not shared details of “credible action, if any, taken by it against terrorists or terrorist groups based in Pakistan”.
“We are hardly surprised, as this identical script was followed by Pakistan in the past, after the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 or in Pathankot in 2016,” he said.
Kumar said India was examining the paper handed over by Pakistan to India on Pulwama strike in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
“Pakistan should abide by the commitment it gave in 2004, and which its current leadership has recently repeated, vowing not to allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner,” said Kumar.
He said Pakistan should take “immediate, credible, irreversible and verifiable” actions against terrorists and terror organizations operating from territories under its control.