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

  • IANS, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2016 20:24 IST
Policemen stand guard along a road leading to the Holey Artisan Bakery and the O'Kitchen Restaurant after gunmen attacked, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Reuters)

Islamabad on Monday rejected Indian media reports alleging Pakistan’s involvement in the Dhaka cafe terror attack on Friday night that left 20 persons, including an Indian woman, dead.

Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria termed the allegations baseless and the reports as “highly regrettable”, Dawn online reported.

A section of India media reported that Bangladesh information minister Hasanul Haq and adviser to Bangladesh prime minister Gowher Rizvi blamed Pakistan and its intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence for the terror attack in Dhaka.

Read: Foreign hostages, merciless murders, rescue ops: All about the Dhaka attack

“These stories are utterly baseless and unfounded. Pakistan strongly rejects such allegations,” Zakaria said in a statement. “The reports are irresponsible and provocative.”

He said Pakistan deeply appreciates Gowher Rizvi’s timely rebuttal of the media reports regarding the attack that was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Rizvi contacted the Pakistani high commissioner in Bangladesh and said the Bangladesh government did not issue any such statement and that the Indian media reports were false.

He also advised the Pakistani high commissioner to convey this clarification to the Pakistani government in order to avoid any misunderstanding between the two sides.

Read: Dhaka attack: Bangladesh may be confronting a more fearsome militant foe

Pakistan on Saturday condemned the Dhaka terror attack and expressed solidarity with the government and the people of Bangladesh, and offered condolences to the families of those killed in the strike.

Zakaria in a statement said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

“Being a victim of terrorism itself, Pakistan welcomes Gowher Rizvi’s call for global cooperation to fight the menace.”

At least seven gunmen -- claimed to be from the IS -- on Friday night stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular cafe in the Bangladeshi capital, killing 20 hostages. Six of the attackers were killed on Saturday morning in Bangladesh Army’s “Operation Thunderbolt”, while the seventh was arrested.

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