FO briefs foreign diplomats on Pulwama investigation, says more info needed from India

Updated March 28, 2019

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More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a suicide blast in Pulwama district in Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File
More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a suicide blast in Pulwama district in Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File

The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday told foreign diplomats that India's allegation that Pakistan-based elements were involved in the Pulwama attack could not be corroborated by the dossier sent by New Delhi in February.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, in a briefing to foreign diplomats, said that in order to cooperate with India in the probe, investigators had examined Adil Dar's 'confessional' video and had also requested details from mobile service providers of numbers India mentioned in the document to analyse the exchange of messages.

The United States authorities have also been contacted for information of messages exchanged through WhatsApp, FO officials said.

Dr Faisal told the diplomats that India had sent a dossier comprising six parts spread over 91 pages, out of which only parts two and three were related to the Pulwama incident. The others, he said, contained "generalised allegations".

Pakistani authorities had detained and interrogated 54 people but so far, no evidence regarding their involvement in the Pulwama attack has emerged, the spokesperson said. He also said that the dossier made no mention of Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the organisation which allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesperson further said that no militant camps had been found on the 22 locations pointed out by India, and offered access to these places on a request by request basis.

He also told the diplomats that more information and evidence was required for Pakistan to continue its investigation into the Feb 14 attack.

India 'hardly surprised' with Pakistan's response

The official spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs responded to media queries regarding Pakistan's response to the dossier.

A statement shared on the ministry's website said India was "disappointed" with Pakistan's response to the report.

"It [Pakistan] has not shared details of credible action, if any, taken by it against terrorists or terrorist organisations based in territories under its control," the statement read.

The spokesperson said New Delhi was "hardly surprised" by the reply as an "identical script" had allegedly been followed by Pakistan in the past.

The statement alleged that it was a "well-known fact" that JeM and its leader Masood Azhar were based in Pakistan.

"There's no dearth of sufficient actionable information and evidence in Pakistan itself to take action against them, if there is sincerity and intent to do so," the statement alleged, adding that India was examining the paper Pakistan had handed over.

"Pakistan should abide by the commitment it gave in 2004, and which its current leadership has recently repeated, vowing not to allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner. Pakistan should take immediate, credible, irreversible and verifiable actions against terrorists and terror organisations operating from territories under its control."