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Dhaka attack: Bangladesh minister defends Indian media against Pak diatribe

world Updated: Jul 05, 2016 12:50 IST
Dhaka attack

Army soldiers take their positions near the Holey Artisan restaurant after Islamist militants attacked the upscale cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh.(Reuters Photo)

With Pakistan slamming the India media for reporting its involvement in Dhaka’s terrorist attack as “highly regrettable, irresponsible and provocative stories”, Bangladesh information minister Hassanul Haq Inu said the media didn’t levelled charges on Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on its own as it were some of the senior political officials in his country who pointed a finger at them.

“Pakistan makes such statements time and again; if they deny their involvement in the Dhaka attack, its good but the investigators in Bangladesh are looking for all possibilities,” said the minister.

“For the past 45 years, Pakistan and ISI have been involved in Bangladesh, from the war of liberation till now in terrorist networks. There are clear evidences of the involvement of ISI and Pakistan in our terrorist networks,” he alleged.

Read | Pakistan denies hand in Dhaka attack, says reports of involvement provocative

“If the Pakistani agencies aren’t involved, we accept their statements and thank them, but if other evidences come out then it will be very sad for the relations of both the countries (Bangladesh and Pakistan,” Inu added.

“We know the character of Pakistan they are the greatest harbour of terrorism in world. It is because of Pakistan that many terrorists are involved in subversive activities in many countries,” alleged Inu, adding that it is very sad but the reality is that Pakistan cannot have a clean chit.

The Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs (MoFA) on Monday said allegations of Pakistan’s involvement in Dhaka’s terrorist attack are highly regrettable, irresponsible and provocative stories being carried in the Indian media.

“They are utterly baseless and unfounded and Pakistan strongly rejects such allegations,” said MoFA spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria in a statement issued in Islamabad.

In this context, the spokesperson drew attention to the statement by Prof. Gowher Rizvi, the Adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina, refuting the Indian media story attributed to him regarding Pakistan’s involvement as “utter nonsense” and “a proof of the Indian media’s malicious intent”.

Read | Why Bangladesh claim of ISI role in Dhaka cafe attack could be true

Rizvi purportedly said he had never issued any statement or spoke to any TV channel on this issue.

The terrorist attack a cafe on Friday claiming lives of 20 civilians, mostly foreigners, and two police officers.

Nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one Bangladeshi-American and two Bangladeshis were killed in the terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan on Friday night.

The 12-hour-long hostage crisis at the cafe popular with foreigners ended after a two-hour long assault by armed forces’ commandos killing six gunmen.