New Delhi, July 24:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has now said the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead, was an “indigenous thing” that happened in Kashmir.
During his US visit, Imran Khan also said that since Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terror group based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility, the country came into the picture. But Pakistan is not to be blamed for the attack.
Khan’s justification is that although Jaish is based in Pakistan, it also has presence in Kashmir and thus the attack is an “indigenous thing” that happened in India.
“A Kashmiri boy was radicalised after the brutalities of the Indian security forces and he carried out the attack, but suddenly Pakistan came into the limelight,” said Imran Khan.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 when a CRPF convoy was attacked by a Jaish terrorist who rammed an IED-laden vehicle into one of the trucks.
Jaish-e-Mohammed later released a video of the terrorist who attacked the convoy and claimed responsibility for the attack.
The devastating terror attack once again caused heavy damage to Indo-Pak relations. Twelve days after the attack, India conducted airstrikes deep inside Pakistan’s Balakot area to destroy terror hubs of Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The airstrikes led to further tension along the border and days later India and Pakistan engaged in an aerial dogfight with the respective air forces. While India maintained that Pakistan tried to attack the Indian Air Force (IAF) establishments with their fighter jets, Pakistan denied any such incident.
US, on the other hand, had earlier said that while Pakistan has taken some steps against terror groups in the country, they are very much “reversible”.
After his meeting with the US President, Imran Khan admitted that successive governments in Pakistan did not tell the truth to the United States, in particular in the last 15 years. Imran Khan said that there were 40 different militant groups operating in his country.
Imran Khan also deflected a question on the latest arrest of Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. Asked about Hafiz Saeed’s seventh arrest that came right ahead of his US visit, Imran Khan said “we do not allow any armed militant groups to operate” in our country.
The comments came after Imran Khan held a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House in which the two leaders even broached the Kashmir topic.
Later Trump landed in a major controversy when he said that Imran Khan has asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also asked him the same.
It triggered a hue and cry in India on Tuesday as the Modi government immediately rejected Trump’s claims and said India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan with no scope for third party intervention.