Islamabad: A day after India rubbished Pakistan’s claim that it was behind a deadly terrorist attack in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday raised the issue in Parliament.
Four heavily armed militants on Monday made an attempt to take over the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi, killing three security guards and a police officer before being shot dead by security forces.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) linked Majeed Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack. The group is banned in Pakistan, the UK and the US.
What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same. They wanted to spread uncertainty. We have no doubt this was done by India,” Khan said in the National Assembly.
But our security forces averted a big tragedy as the terrorists were carrying heavy arms and ammunition to take the people hostage in the Stock Exchange and kill them to create an environment of fear and uncertainty, he said.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a similar claim.
Reacting sharply to Qureshi’s remarks, India described it as “absurd comments.”
In a strongly-worded response, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi.
The ties between the two nations strained following the Balakot strike when the Indian Air Force jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan on February 26 last year to avenge the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
The ties further nose-dived after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Last week, India asked Pakistan to reduce the strength of its High Commission in New Delhi by 50 per cent within the next seven days and announced a reciprocal reduction in Indian strength in Islamabad.