ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday categorically rejected news reports circulating in the Indian media, attempting to link the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to a suicide attack on a gurdwara in Kabul which killed some 25 people.
At least 25 people were killed in the attack on the gurdwara on March 25 where worshippers were offering morning prayers. The attack had been claimed by the militant ISIS group.
According to a report published in India Today on April 5, Afghanistan’s spy agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS), has arrested Abdullah Orakzai alias Aslam Farooqi – the mastermind behind the attack – who, it claimed, had ties to the ISI.
The publication also added that Orakzai “enjoyed close relations” to the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Responding to the report, the Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, in a statement, said it rejected the “officially-inspired reports” and termed the move “mischievous and condemnable”.
Terming these news reports part of a “well-known smear campaign against Pakistan”, Farooqui said these were “patently designed to malign Pakistan”.
“Seeking to implicate Pakistan in this terrorist attack is part of the desperate attempts India is making to divert attention from its own unacceptable actions and state-terrorism in India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir.”
Farooqui said Pakistan remained “confident that such Indian ploys will not succeed in misleading the world community”.
Interestingly, the same publication had published a report on Mar 27, two days after the attack, admitting that one of the bombers was an Indian national from Kerala. The publication also admitted that the bomber was recruited by ISIS, impliedly acknowledging the terrorist organisation’s network in India, something independent political observers have been saying for some time now.
FO WELCOMES STATEMENT DEMANDING INDIA TO RELEASE KASHMIRI PRISONERS:
Earlier in the day, the FO welcomed the joint statement of six international human rights organisations, calling on the Indian government to immediately release all illegally detained prisoners in held Kashmir and fully restore internet and communication facilities in the valley.
In a series of tweets, Spokesperson Farooqui said: “The Joint Statement rightly underlines that measures to combat #COVID19 must respect human rights of every individual.”
Farooqui also said that the urgent release of the political prisoners, the majority of whom are Muslims, who were arrested after the Indian government unilaterally annexed the mountainous valley on Aug 5 last year.
“The statement underscored allegations of torture against Kashmiri prisoners as part of a decades-long pattern of abuses that has been repeatedly denounced by HR & UN bodies.”
Expressing concern on isolation of inmates from outside 🌎 due 2 comm.blackout & ban on prison visits, the statement underscores that allegations of torture against Kashmiri prisoners as part of a decades-long pattern of abuses have been repeatedly denounced by HR & UN bodies.3/3
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) April 7, 2020
Pakistan has time and again called on the Indian government to lift restrictions in the occupied valley and to release unlawfully detained prisoners.
Recently, as the number of coronavirus cases in the disputed territory continue to increase, the Foreign Office had again expressed deep concerns over continued restrictions despite some 123 confirmed cases and two reported deaths.