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Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Pulwama attack: Open to probe, will retaliate if India attacks

Imran Khan on Pulwama attack: “My statement is for the Indian government. You (Indian govt) have blamed the Pakistan government without any evidence.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said that Islamabad was open to any investigation into the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, ruling out its involvement. “This is a New Pakistan… we want stability. We do not benefit by attacking India,” Khan said in a pre-recorded message. “It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want to tell Indian govt that we will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan,” he said.

“If you (Indian govt) think you can attack us and we will not think of retaliating, we will retaliate. We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us, only God knows. This issue should be resolved through dialogue,” Khan said, adding: “My statement is for the Indian government. You (Indian govt) have blamed the Pakistan government without any evidence.”

A day after the attack, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said there is “incontrovertible evidence” about Pakistan’s “direct” involvement in the attack. The government also decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan and sought “immediate and verifiable action” from Islamabad against Jaish-e-Mohammad, the perpetrator behind Pathankot (January 2016), Uri (September 2016), and now Pulwama terror attacks. The decision was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.

Forty CRPF jawans were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama after a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist rammed an explosive-laden Scorpio SUV into a bus carrying the CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar. The attack was the worst in the history of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack has heightened bilateral tensions between India and Islamabad. On Monday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seeking his help to reduce the tensions between the two countries, Pakistan Foreign Office said.

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