Tuesday Apr 07, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday rejected reports from India linking Islamabad to last month's terrorist attack at a Gurdwara in Afghan capital, Kabul, terming the attempt as "highly mischievous and condemnable".
"We reject the officially-inspired reports appearing in the Indian media seeking to link Pakistan with the terrorist attack on a Gurdawara in Kabul on 25 March 2020," a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said, adding that the country had "already strongly condemned the dastardly terrorist attack, in which so many precious lives were lost".
At least 25 people had died and eight wounded when unidentified assailants and suicide bombers attacked a Sikh religious complex in Kabul. According to the Afghan government, all the attackers had been killed by the security forces and 80 people were rescued.
However, a Taliban spokesperson had denied responsibility for the attack in a message on Twitter.
The Foreign Office, while noting that places of worship were sacrosanct and their sanctity must be respected at all times, said Pakistan demanded the perpetrators be brought to justice.
"As a country that has suffered the most from and has fought resolutely against the scourge of terrorism, including State-sponsored terrorism emanating from across the border, Pakistan firmly believes that such despicable terrorist acts have no political, religious or moral justification," the Foreign Office spokesperson added.
Pakistan also stressed that India's bid to continuously slander Islamabad was aimed at diverting attention from its forces' violence and aggression in occupied Kashmir, which has been under a curfew, as well as a communications and media blackout since August 5, 2019, when its special status was revoked.
"As for the motivated reports in the Indian media, these are patently designed to malign Pakistan. India’s overall smear campaign against Pakistan is well-known," the statement added.
"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 Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K).
"We are confident that such Indian ploys will not succeed in misleading the world community," it noted.
Separately, a day earlier, Pakistan had opened its Torkham and Chaman border crossings for four days to allow Afghan nationals in the country to return home. The move came on the back of Kabul’s request on humanitarian grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Security sources said the outflow of the Afghan nationals had begun and around 1,000 would be allowed to leave for their country on a daily basis.
“At the special request of the government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan has decided to allow the exit of Afghan nationals in Pakistan wishing to go back to their country,” the Foreign Office said in a statement Saturday had said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed authorities to open the Chaman-Spinboldak border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, noting that Islamabad would continue supporting Kabul during the global coronavirus pandemic.