ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Wednesday formally conveyed to India the message that the initial information shared by that country regarding the alleged involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the Pulwama attack could not substantiate the imputation, and offered to examine any fresh proof — whenever it is available.
“All information provided by India was checked and no link with the Pulwama attack could be established,” a source told Dawn. “We remain ready to investigate and take action if there is any fresh evidence.”
The findings were conveyed to the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, Ajay Bisaria. “The Indian high commissioner in Islamabad 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 FO said in a statement.
FO says no link can yet be established with Pakistan-based elements, evidence insufficient
India had on Feb 27 given to Pakistan a dossier containing information in support of its allegation that the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a group allegedly operating from Pakistani territory, was involved in the Feb 14 attack on a security convoy in India-held Kashmir’s district of Pulwama. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that it had provided Pakistan with “specific details of JeM complicity in the Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan.”
The source said the dossier contained few telephone numbers and WhatsApp IDs. “Our investigation could not link those numbers to the Pulwama attack,” the source said, adding that the WhatsApp IDs had been sent to the US-based parent company, but no response had been received yet.
The dossier, Indian media had previously reported, contained information about JeM’s recruitment drives in the past two years, despite being listed by the Pakistan government as a terrorist group. The information was reportedly gleaned from open sources such as blogs, websites, Facebook and Twitter.
The source said that Pakistan remains committed to its offer of full cooperation and collaboration, but cannot punish anyone without evidence.
“Pakistan has acted with a high sense of responsibility and extended full cooperation,” stated the FO release. “We do so in the interest of regional peace and security. We have sought further information / evidence from India to take the process forward.”
After the Pulwama attack, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered cooperation in the investigation if credible evidence were provided by India. The two sessions of the National Security Committee held while cross-border tensions were escalating had also reiterated the offer of cooperation.
Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2019