Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district is “a matter of grave concern” even as it strongly rejected Indian media and government’s allegations of the country’s link to the strike “without” probe.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s three decades of militancy, a suicide bomber from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district on Thursday, killing at least 39 personnel and leaving many critically wounded. Attack in Pulwama in Kashmir is “a matter of grave concern”, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
Asserting that Pakistan has “always condemned acts of violence” anywhere in the world, it said, “We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations.” In a tweet, FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in Valley.” Meanwhile, India slammed Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack and asked the neighbouring country to stop supporting terrorists and dismantle terror infrastructure operating from its soil.
India also strongly reiterated its appeal to all members of the international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan. The Indian government condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly terrorist attack on India’s brave security forces in Pulwama, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
This heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation proscribed by the UN and other countries, it said. This terror group is led by the international terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by the Pakistani government to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under Pakistan’s control and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity, the MEA said.
Countries from across the globe also condemned the terror attack in Pulwama, with global leaders like the US, Russia and France asserting that they stand with India in combating the menace of terrorism. “The US Mission in India strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,” US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster tweeted.
Russia, while condemning the terror attack, stressed the need to combat such “inhuman acts” with decisive and collective response without any double standards. “We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterate the need to combat these inhuman acts with decisive and collective response without any double standards,” a Russian Embassy statement said. French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said France most firmly condemns the heinous attack perpetrated in Jammu and Kashmir.
“France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism in all its forms,” he said. Germany strongly condemned the heinous terrorist attack, saying stands by its strategic partner India. Australia, Turkey, Canada and Czech Republic also condemned the horrific terror attack. India’s neighbours Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives also expressed solidarity and vowed to combat the menace of terrorism jointly.
“I strongly condemn the deadly terrorist attack in Kashmir today killing at least 40 people. We send our thoughts and prayers to those affected. The Maldives will continue to work with India and the international community to combat terrorism in our region and the world at large,” Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih said. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a message through the country’s High Commission in New Delhi said her country remains steadfast in its commitment against terrorism of all forms and manifestations and maintains a zero tolerance policy against any kind of terrorist activities.
“Deeply saddened by the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Kashmir. Bhutan strongly condemns terrorist attack of any nature. Our prayers are with the grieved family and we are following the situation closely,” Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena expressed sadness over the dastardly terror attack, saying the world must condemn such brutal terrorist attacks and take effective action to prevent such incidents in future. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also “strongly” condemned the terror attack, calling for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.