Pakistan has rejected India’s assertion that it was involved in the attack on an army base at Uri that killed 17 soldiers, with foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz accusing New Delhi on Monday of trying to divert attention from the situation in Kashmir.
Aziz’s statement dwelt more on the situation in Kashmir, especially the unrest triggered by the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, and contained no offer of cooperation to investigate the Uri attack, as was done by Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror strike on Pathankot airbase in January.
Aziz, the foreign affairs advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also did not condemn the Uri attack, which India has blamed on the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
“Pakistan categorically rejects the baseless and irresponsible accusations being levelled by senior officials in Prime Minister Modi’s government,” he said in the statement issued by the Foreign Office.
“It was particularly deplorable that the Indian minister chose to blame Pakistan for the incident even prior to conducting proper investigation. The statement is part of a pattern to mislead world opinion and cover up India’s reign of terror in (Jammu and Kashmir),” he added.
Pakistan had “noted with serious concern the recent spate of vitriolic and unsubstantiated statements emanating from Indian civil and military leadership” after the attack on “Indian occupation forces” in Uri, Aziz said.
Heavily armed terrorists stormed an army camp close to the Line of control at Uri in Baramulla district on Sunday, killing 17 soldiers and injuring more than 20 others. Home minister Rajnath Singh pointed a finger at Pakistan for its “continued and direct support” to terror groups and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the perpetrators would not go unpunished.
But Aziz contended the allegations were a “blatant attempt on India’s part to deflect attention from the fast deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation” in Kashmir since the death of Wani.
“It needs to be understood that the situation in (Kashmir) is not of Pakistan’s making but a direct consequence of illegal Indian occupation and a long history of atrocities that has resulted in over a 100,000 deaths. More than 100 people have died and thousands injured during the recent episode of protest...,” he said.
Soon after India said on Sunday that Pakistan had a hand in the attack, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria dismissed the accusation. The Pakistani military had subsequently said India should share “actionable intelligence” on the Uri attack.
With inputs from agencies