FO rejects 'mischievous' Indian media reports linking Pakistan to Afghanistan temple attack

Published April 7, 2020
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

Pakistan on Tuesday rejected reports circulating in the Indian media that linked Pakistan's security agencies to an attack on a gurdwara in Afghanistan last month.

At least 25 people were killed in the attack on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital on March 25 where worshippers were offering morning prayers. The attack had been claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

According to a report by Indian publication India Today, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Saturday arrested Abdullah Orakzai alias Aslam Farooqi, the mastermind behind the attack, who they claimed had ties to Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The India Today report also added that Orakzai alias Farooqi enjoyed "close relations" to the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Responding to these allegations, the Foreign Office in a statement said it rejected the "officially-inspired reports" and termed the move "mischievous and condemnable".

Terming these news reports part of a "well known smear campaign against Pakistan", the FO spokeswoman said these were "patently designed to malign Pakistan".

"Seeking to implicate Pakistan in this terrorist attack is part of the desperate attempts India is making to divert attention from its own unacceptable actions and state-terrorism in India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir."

The FO said Pakistan remained "confident that such Indian ploys will not succeed in misleading the world community".

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