Pakistan Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday claimed that his country was responsible for the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir last year, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed, reported PTI. The minister made the remarks in the country’s Parliament but backtracked after his comment drew flak.

“Humne hindustan ko ghus ke maara [We hit India in their home],” Chaudhry said in Pakistan’s National Assembly. “Our success in Pulwama, is a success of the people under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and we are all part of that success.”

The remark triggered an uproar in the Assembly, after which the minister said: “Pulwama ke waqiyeh ke baad, jab humne India ko ghus ke maara [When we hit India in their home after the incident at Pulwama]”.

In February 2019, 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed after an explosive-laden car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into their bus in Pulwama. In August, the National Investigation Agency had filed a chargesheet in the case. Nineteen people, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and his brother Rauf Asghar, were named in the chargesheet.

The NIA’s investigation also revealed that Pakistan used Adil Ahmad Dar, the suicide bomber who rammed the CRPF convoy on February 14, because it wanted to project the attack as a result of a home-grown militancy against “India’s occupation of Kashmir”.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani minister retweeted a clip from his speech in the Assembly. could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Pakistani minister said that he was referring to “when our planes target combat installations”. He added: “We do not show bravery by killing innocents and we condemn terrorism”.

Chaudhry also clarified his remarks in an interview with NDTV, and said that Islamabad does not “allow any terrorism”, adding that his statement was misconstrued.

Chaudhry made the comments in Pakistan’s National Assembly after a viral video of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ayaz Sadiq showed him recount the events of a meeting in February last year, when the Imran Khan government decided to release Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Sadiq said that at the meeting, a frightened Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned that if Pakistan did not let Varthaman go, India would attack Pakistan “that night by 9 pm”.

Varthaman was flying a MiG-21 fighter jet when he was captured by Pakistan in February 2019 after his aircraft went down during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani aircraft. He was released and returned to India on March 1, 2019.

Sadiq said Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “legs were shaking” as the country’s foreign minister entreated that the captured IAF pilot be set free, for an attack by India was imminent.

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