Pakistan Army sings old tune, says no hand in Pulwama attack; warns India not to mess with Pakistan


Director General of the Pakistan Army's media wing,

Director General of the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor

The Pakistan Army, in a televised press conference on Friday, denied any role in Pulwama terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir on February 14. Director General of the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Major General Asif Ghafoor in a press conference said, “What would Pakistan benefit from Pulwama attack in light of these events? Pakistan would be at a loss.”

Ghafoor statement’s is in tune with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s earlier statement on Pulwama where he had said:  “Pakistan is moving towards stability. Why would we do something like this? If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved, give it to us. I guarantee you, we will take action, not because we are under pressure, but because they are acting as enemies of Pakistan.”

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Major Ghafoor also tried to give a reason to Pakistan Army’s delayed response on Pulwama terror attack by saying, “On February 14, a Kashmiri youngster targeted Indian security forces. After the incident, India starting bombarding Pakistan with allegations without any thought or proof. Pakistan took time to respond. We wanted to investigate the allegations and when we were sure-footed, the prime minister of Pakistan responded.”

Ghafoor did not mention Jaish-e-Mohammed and Maulana Masood Azhar in his press conference. Masood Azhar’s Jaish has openly accepted its involvement in the Pulwama terror attack but Pakistan Army did not mention a word about him.

Pakistan Army general also alleged that India was yet to accept the creation of Pakistan in 1947. “Before I speak further about this issue, I want to say some things. In 1947, Pakistan obtained independence and this is something India has not been able to accept till date. In 1998, we obtained nuclear power while in 2008 we were fighting a decisive war against militants and emerging successful so India started to mobilise its troops on the border,” Ghafoor said.

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In a brazen offensive, Pakistan Army general blamed India for trying to destabilise the country. “Whenever the situation improves in Pakistan, India tries to destabilise the country,” Ghafoor alleged. 

“In February, when the Pulwama attack happened there were eight important events in Pakistan — Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit, Afghan reconciliation process, UNSC talking about terror financing, EU deliberating on human rights violations in Kashmir, Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing, FATF hearing and decision on Pakistan, PSL and Kartarpur meeting. The elections are upcoming in India and the indigenous struggle in occupied Kashmir is high.”

“What would Pakistan benefit from Pulwama attack in light of these events? Pakistan would be at a loss,” Ghafoor said.

Pakistan Army also pointed out that the attack took place miles away from the Line of Control (LoC) and the explosives used were not from Pakistan.

“The car used was not from Pakistan either. The attack was carried out by a youngster from occupied Kashmir who was mistreated by Indian security forces,” Ghafoor said.

Ghafoor also denied that Pakistan was preparing for war. “We do not wish to go to war but please be rest assured should you initiate any aggression, first you will never be able to surprise us. But let me assure you, we will surprise you. We shall also dominate the escalation ladder. Never think due to our commitments elsewhere we will have any capacity lack,” he said.

“We have the will and determination, ways and means to reach our desired state. We can respond to a full spectrum threat. We hope you get this and don’t mess with Pakistan,” Major General Ghafoor said in a rhetorical challenge.

Earlier on Friday, India got big support from the United Nations Security Council when the big five at UN condemned the Pulwama attack in the “strongest terms” terming the attack as “heinous and cowardly”.

“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in over 40 Indian paramilitary forces dead and dozens wounded on February 14, 2019, for which Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility,” the UNSC press statement on the ‘Suicide Bombing in Pulwama’ said.

It was on February 14 when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district, killing at least 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded. 

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Following the brutal attack, India took a series of bold decisions against Pakistan, from withdrawing the “most favoured nation” status to hiking the customs duty to 200 per cent on all goods imported from the neighbouring country.

The government on Thursday decided to stop India’s share of water flowing to Pakistan. The water from Eastern rivers will now be diverted for supply to people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan on Thursday banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation. Pakistan, however, did not mention a word on terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar, who were behind the deadly Pulwama attack. 

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