Modi benefited from Pulwama attack, Fawad says


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday rejected India’s allegations of Pakistani involvement in the Pulwama attack and claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi benefited from the attack.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stalwart asserted in a media interview that “the attack was carried out some 130 kilometres inside the [Indian controlled] territory, the vehicle, obviously, was not transported from across the border [Pakistan] and neither were 360 kilogrammes of explosives”.

“Even the militants were not from Pakistan,” he said.

Fawad lamented the Indian habit of jumping the gun after any such incident and blaming Pakistan without any evidence. “It is a trend in India. Instead of looking at the facts, they blame Pakistan for every incident because it is convenient,” he said.

Referring towards PTI’s efforts to create a business-friendly environment in the country, Fawad said that “such tragic incidents leave a negative impact on the government efforts”.

With Indian general elections a couple of months away, the timing of the attack was peculiar for the minister who said that “we need to see that who benefitted from the incident” – which killed 44 Indian soldiers.

He further observed that the “BJP-led Indian government is desperate to create a new conflict [ahead of the 2019 general elections] to compensate for their decreasing popularity”.

Fawad also noted that the incident took place at such a time when “a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting and Taliban peace talks are scheduled to be held in Pakistan and a hefty $21 billion bailout package is being given by Saudi Arabia”.

Reiterating Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance for continuing efforts to bring peace in the region, Fawad Chaudhry said that “we will continue our efforts to normalise ties with India as it is a crucial step towards long-term sustainability in the region”.

Earlier on Thursday, a suicide attack in occupied Kashmir killed at least 44 Indian security personnel.

The attack outside Srinagar reportedly claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant outfit, saw explosives packed inside a van rip through buses in a convoy of 78 vehicles, carrying some 2,500 members of the Indian force.

Two buses, with 35 people each, bore the brunt of the massive blast, heard miles away, around 20 kilometres from Srinagar on the main highway to Jammu.

In the aftermath of the attack, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Friday summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood and issued him “a very strong demarche in connection with the terrorist attack in Pulwama yesterday”.