Pakistan on Wednesday sought additional evidence from India in connection with the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force. The Jaish-e-Mohammad extremist group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Islamabad had shared preliminary findings with India after examining the Indian report on the incident. “The Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad [Ajay Bisaria] was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Foreign Secretary [Tehmina Janjua] and the findings on the Pulwama incident were shared with him,” the ministry said.
Islamabad said New Delhi had handed over a paper on February 27 in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of cooperation in the investigation into the Pulwama attack. “Pakistan has acted with a high sense of responsibility and extended full cooperation,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed. “We do so in the interest of regional peace and security. We have sought further information/evidence from India to take the process forward.”
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said last month that a dossier was handed over to Pakistan “with specific details of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of Jaish terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan”. New Delhi had demanded immediate action from Islamabad against terrorist groups operating from its soil.
Pakistan had earlier this month launched a crackdown on extremist groups. Islamabad claimed it had detained over 100 persons and taken control of 182 schools in the country. It also arrested 44 members of banned outfits, including Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother Mufti Abdur Rauf, and son Hamad Azhar.
Indian Air Force jets had launched strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26. The following day, Pakistani jets violated Indian airspace, downed a MiG-21 aircraft and took the pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, hostage. The pilot was returned to India on March 1.