ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that there’s some confusion regarding the involvement of Jaish-e-Muhammad in the Pulwama attack.
“We’re not sure if Jaish-e-Muhammad is involved in the attack,” Qureshi said during an interview.
Over 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force soldiers were killed in Indian-Administered Kashmir on February 14 when a suicide bomber targeted a group of soldiers. It was the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in the valley since 2002.
Indian media reported that Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Qureshi told the BBC that when the group’s leadership was contacted by the people who [are] known to them, they denied it.
When the host said that the group had issued a press release claiming responsibility for the attack, Qureshi said, “There are conflict[ing] reports.”
Responding to a question that there’s a perception that Pakistan has never cracked down on militant groups that target India, the foreign minister replied, “We have proscribed JuD and the so-called nerve centre of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Bahawalpur has been taken over by the Punjab government.”
He said that the world and India have been talking about the madrassa and calling it a training camp. “The media was taken there and what they saw is in front of you.”
He was also asked whether there is a madrassa run by the Jaish-e-Muhammad near the site of the India air strike. “India claimed that they hit three training camps, where are they? They claimed that they killed 350 terrorists, where are the bodies?” he demanded. He also said that not even people in India believed that IAF aircraft stayed in Pakistani airspace for 25 minutes.
Qureshi said that the PTI government policy is very clear. “We will not allow Pakistani soil to be used by any group for terrorist activity against anyone, including India.”
When the foreign minister was asked if Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar is under any kind of active investigation, he said, “We are willing to listen to any reasonable proposal. When action is taken against any individual, no matter who he is, you have to prove it in a court of law.”
He said that if India has something, they should share it with Pakistan. “If you do, then we can articulate the case in court and justify action against that individual or that organization to the people of Pakistan,” he added.