NEW DELHI: India on Saturday called out gaps in the Pakistani narrative on terrorism to ensure the international community did not fall for “the same script” that Islamabad has been using after every terrorist attack on Indian soil.
“If Pakistan claims to be a ‘naya Pakistan with nayi soch’, it should show ‘naya action’ against terror infrastructure on its soil and end cross- border terrorism,” said the MEA.
Meanwhile, Pakistan yielded to Paris-based global watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s demands, saying it would upgrade several banned organisations including the Jaish, to ‘high risk.’But New Delhi remained unimpressed. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The widespread presence of terrorist camps in Pakistan is public knowledge within and outside Pakistan. Repeated requests by us and the international community for Pakistan to take action against such groups have been met with denial.”
Rejecting Pakistan’s claims of fresh action against terror groups on its soil, he said, “We are seeing the same script that has been played out earlier after the attacks on Parliament in December 2001, the Mumbai attack in November 2008 and the attack on Pathankot airbase in January 2016. Pakistan claims to proscribe groups and individuals, but this is confined only on paper.”
Sources said the strong reiteration of the Indian position was mostly to ensure that the US and other powers were made aware of “Pakistan’s continued, unabashed perfidy.” But this time, “we will ensure that Pakistan is judged not by its words, but by explicit, verifiable and sustained action it takes on the ground against terrorists and terror infrastructure on its soil,” said one source.
Meanwhile, reports from Washington said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed efforts to reduce tensions between the two South Asian neighbours with visiting British National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill. Sedwill had called his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Friday and offered all help.
Political slugfest over Pulwama
The bitter war of words continued on Saturday with Congress President Rahul Gandhi pinning the onus for the Pulwama strike on to the NDA government’s release of Masood Azhar in the wake of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 hijacking to Kandahar in 1999 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi slamming the Congress for its handling of terror incidents after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
“Let PM Modi tell the nation who released Masood Azhar from an Indian jail,” said Gandhi during a rally in Karnataka, referring to the release of JeM chief Masood Azhar from an Indian jail by the NDA government under the Vajpayee dispensation in 1999.