In what could be called a festering of wounds amid reported parleys for peace, Pakistan on Sunday accused India of carrying out the bomb blast near the residence of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on June 23.
Three people were killed and 20 others were injured in a car bomb blast outside the house of Hafiz Saeed on June 23.
Terming the incident as “India-sponsored terrorism”, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf told the media that the mastermind behind the blast was an Indian citizen who allegedly had links with India’s intelligence body R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing).
“We have concrete evidence and intelligence, including financial and telephone records, that point to direct Indian sponsorship of these terrorists,” Yusuf told reporters.
He was addressing the press along with Inam Ghani, the police chief of Pakistan’s Punjab province, and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.
Yusuf also alleged that were coordinated cyber attacks by India on Pakistan’s information infrastructure on the day of the bombings.
“The cyber attacks were carried out so that our investigation could not be successful and it would face obstacles and time could be gained for the network to disperse,” he said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan even took to Twitter to state that the “planning and financing of this heinous terror attack has links to India sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan”. Khan urged the global community to mobilize international institutions against the incident.
Even though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to respond to Islamabad’s accusations, sources who spoke to Indian Express have called these “baseless” and “false”.
Ghani said the Counter Terrorism Department has arrested those responsible for the blast and well as their facilitators. He identified the “lynchpin” who was the alleged conduit between Indian intelligence agency as Peter Paul David.
“Peter arranged the car used in the blast. We have the details of his financing, his WhatsApp calls, and all other records…,” IE quoted Ghani as saying.
Pakistan’s accusations may be a major deterrent in its reported backdoor talks with India to break the ice over past differences and terror incidents and facilitate trade and bilateral relationship.
The two countries had agreed to ceasefire along the India-Pakistan border in February.
India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is said to be initiating the talks with Pakistan’s civilian-military leadership and has even met Yusuf and ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed in another country which is playing peacemaker.
In a meeting of NSAs at the Sanghai Cooperation Organisation on June 23-24, Doval had “proposed and action plan against Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad as part of the SCO framework” in an attempt to bring perpetrators of terrorist attacks to justice.
Incidentally, Pakistan’s attacks on India also come a few day after two drones dropped bombs at the Indian Air Force base in Jammu while another was spotted above the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh has pointed to alleged role of Lashkar in the bombings as they have a history of using drones to drop weapons, narcotics and IEDs in India.