New Delhi Rebuffs Islamabad’s ‘Proof’ of Indian Support to Militant Groups

On Saturday, 14 November, Pakistan claimed it would present evidence to the United Nations and other international bodies that India has been involved with militant organisations on its soil. The claim was made by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after the armies of both countries engaged in cross-border firing on the eve of Diwali.

India on Sunday rubbished Pakistan’s attempt to accuse New Delhi of supporting militant groups in the country. A spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement termed it as “yet another futile anti-India propaganda exercise”.

The spokesman said that the so-called claims of “proof” against India “are fabricated and represent figments of imagination”.

On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told media that Islamabad has “irrefutable evidence to the world to demonstrate the Indian state’s direct sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan that has resulted in the deaths of innocent Pakistanis”.

“The press conference was a deliberate attempt on the part of the Pakistani establishment to shift focus from its internal political and economic failures. It also seeks to justify cross-border terrorism, including ceasefire violations and infiltration across the LoC and IB (International Border)”, retorted Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for India’s External Affairs Ministry.

He reminded Islamabad of a statement by Prime Minister Imran Khan admitting the presence of 40,000 terrorists on its soil and a statement by Science and Technology Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in parliament about the “involvement and success of Pakistan, led by its Prime Minister in the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Indian soldiers were martyred”.

11 people, including six civilians, four army soldiers, and a member of India’s border guards were killed and over 20 injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan’s Army along the Line of Control (LoC) in four districts of Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Saturday.

In retaliatory fire by Indian troops, six persons, including a solider, were killed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Tensions along the India-Pakistan border have been simmering ever since the armed forces of the two nations were on the verge of a conflict in early 2019 after 40 Indian troops were killed by a suicide bomber in the Pulwama district in southern Kashmir.

India hit back by bombing alleged terror camps in Balakot, which was retaliated against by Pakistan by shooting down an Indian fighter plane.

Things further escalated between the two South Asian countries after India withdrew the autonomy of the region in August 2019 and split it into two federally administered territories.

Since then, troops from both countries have been engaged in frequent cross-border fighting in the disputed Kashmir region.

According to Indian Army sources, 4,052 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have been reported in 2020 alone, of which 128 took place in November.

Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between the nuclear-capable neighbours, as both claim the entire territory as their own, while administering it in parts.