Pakistan rejects Indian allegations over suicide attack in Kashmir
Updated 10:42, 16-Feb-2019
CGTN
03:01

Pakistan on late Friday rejected Indian allegations of its involvement in a suicide attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir that left 40 soldiers killed, local media reported.

In a move against the "baseless allegations," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned Indian acting Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia, lodging a protest over the allegations. The ministry rejected any link between the attack and Pakistan and told the Indian official that India should refrain from leveling accusations without investigations.

Responding to Indian media reports that banned outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed the attack, the foreign office said that the organization has no links with Pakistan as it is based in the Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi listens during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan August 20, 2018. /VCG Photo

Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi listens during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan August 20, 2018. /VCG Photo

The country's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who left for Germany Thursday, also rejected the allegations, saying that Pakistan has always advocated peace with its neighboring countries and "Prime Minister Imran Khan's peace overture to India is on record," a local newspaper quoted the foreign minister as saying.

Local media reports said that India has scrapped the Most Favored Nation's status for Pakistan in the aftermath of the attack. Removing the state of fear to affect the trade relations between Pakistan and India, said local analysts.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood told reporters on Friday that Pakistan will not take any emotional or hasty decision and the country's response to India's move will come after due deliberation.

India threatens to isolate Pakistan after Kashmir attack

India will take "all possible diplomatic steps" to isolate its arch-rival Pakistan following a terror attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. 

"The Ministry of External Affairs will initiate all possible steps, and I am here referring to all possible diplomatic steps, which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan," he told reporters on Friday.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also warned Pakistan to expect a strong response.

Indian police at the site of an attack on a bus that killed 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in south Kashmir, February 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

Indian police at the site of an attack on a bus that killed 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in south Kashmir, February 14, 2019. /VCG Photo

At least 44 people were killed in the attack, as a suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police. 

Indian security analysts said the attack is the deadliest in the history of Kashmir militancy since 1989.

The Indian government was quick to accuse Pakistan, saying it was letting militant groups operate on its soil. Islamabad rejected that claim, and called the attack a matter of "grave concern."

Jaitley said India would remove most favored nation (MFN) trade privileges that had been accorded to Pakistan; however bilateral trade between the two countries is barely two billion U.S. dollars.

Indian Muslims carry Indian national flags as they shout slogans against Pakistan during a protest in Mumbai, February 15, 2019. /VCG Photo

Indian Muslims carry Indian national flags as they shout slogans against Pakistan during a protest in Mumbai, February 15, 2019. /VCG Photo

India summoned Pakistan's envoy on Friday over the deadly attack and served a diplomatic notice demanding Islamabad take action against the militant group, a government source said.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale called Pakistan's ambassador Sohail Mahmood and "issued a very strong demarche in connection with the terrorist attack in Pulwama yesterday," the source said.

After meeting with security advisers to discuss options on Friday, Modi said India "will give a befitting reply," stressing that "our neighbor will not be allowed to destabilize us."

China urges dialogue and consultation 

Beijing urged Pakistan and India to "address their issues through dialogue and consultation" and "face the militants together to maintain regional stability and security."

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks at a regular press briefing on Friday, calling Pakistan and India "two important countries in South Asia."

Meanwhile, Geng stressed that the Jaish-e-Mohammed which claimed responsibility for this attack is already on the Security Council sanctions list against terrorism. China will continue to deal with the relevant listing issue constructively and responsibly.

Thursday's car bomb attack was carried out at 3:15 p.m. local time on a national highway near Lethpora village in Pulwama district, about 27 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Cover: A demonstrator reacts next to burning cars during a protest against an attack on a bus that killed 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in south Kashmir in Jammu, February 15, 2019. /VCG Photo)