India on July 8 rubbished Pakistan’s claims that its foreign intelligence agency RAW was behind the attack near the residence of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Lahore last month.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi dismissed the allegations saying, it is not new for Pakistan to engage in "baseless propaganda" against India.
“Pakistan would do well to expend the same effort in setting its own house in order and taking credible and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorists who have found safe sanctuaries there," Bagchi said at a media briefing.
The MEA response comes days after Pakistan's National Security Advisor Moeed Yousuf accused India of financing, planning, and carrying out a bomb blast in Lahore near the house of the chief of the banned Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Hafiz Saeed.
"Through the forensic analysis, electronic equipment, which has been recovered from these terrorists, we have identified the main mastermind and the handlers of this terrorist attack and we have absolutely no doubt or reservation in informing you that the main mastermind belongs to RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, is an Indian national, and is based in India," the Pakistan NSA had said on July 4.
Countering Pakistan’s claims, Bagchi asserted that the international community is well aware of the neighbouring county’s credentials when it comes to terrorism. “This is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama Bin Laden as 'martyrs'," he added.
Three persons were killed and 24 others injured when a powerful car bomb exploded outside Saeed's residence at the Board of Revenue (BOR) Housing Society in Johar Town in Lahore on June 23.
The ties between the two countries significantly nosedived after India announced in August 2019 its decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
Pakistan has been making concerted efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue. Meanwhile, India has conveyed to Pakistan its desires for normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility, and violence. India maintains that the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
(With text inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)
First Published: IST