Pakistan rejects “malicious, misleading Indian allegations” of militant safe havens in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said India was “using terrorism as a state policy” to destabilise neighbouring countries, and that a recent United Nations Monitoring Report had “endorsed Pakistan’s stance that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is operating from Afghanistan and with Indian support”.

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In a statement, the Foreign Office said the United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (MT) had independently assessed that “foreign terrorist fighters from India are travelling to Afghanistan to join the ISIL-Khorasan (ISIL-K)”.

It added that resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council had also required India to prevent terrorists from travelling to Afghanistan.

Referring to a recent report released by the MT, the foreign ministry said it “noted that an Indian national, the leader of AI Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, was killed by international forces last year in Afghanistan”.

The FO, in its statement added that earlier reports by the UN monitoring team had also highlighted the “growing strength of ISIL in India and its role in Easter Sunday attack in 2019”.

It also rejected what it said was “malicious Indian allegations” about the UN report saying there were militant “safe havens” in Pakistan. By claiming this, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had “misrepresented” the report, the statement said.

In fact, the Foreign Office said there was “no reference to ‘safe havens’ in Pakistan in the Monitoring Team (MT) report”.

Yesterday, Srivastava was quoted by several Indian publications as saying that “banned terrorist organisations and individuals continue to enjoy safe haven in Pakistan with state support” and that India’s stance on this was “vindicated” in the recent UN MT report.

Refuting these allegations, the Foreign Office termed these accusations an attempt to “slander Pakistan and mislead the international community”.

“The MEA’s distortion and falsification of the contents of the MT report and its concocted allegations reveal that India’s agenda is to create complications for the Afghan peace process,” the FO said.

“There is no reference to ‘safe havens’ in Pakistan in the Monitoring Team (MT) report. The report is based on briefings provided in Afghanistan to the MT by certain quarters who have long expressed skepticism about the Afghan peace process. This skepticism is not shared by the larger international community, especially the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General,” the statement said.

“The MEA’s distortion and falsification of the contents of the MT report and its concocted allegations reveal that India’s agenda is to create complications for the Afghan peace process. Pakistan has warned the world about the role of spoilers within and outside Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has been highlighting India’s sponsorship of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan against Pakistan.”

It added that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan continued to operate in Afghanistan with Indian support and threatened Pakistan and other countries in the region.

“Pakistan has proposed the listing of several Indian terrorism facilitators on the UN Security Council’s terrorism list along with evidence of their involvement in terrorism,” the statement said, adding that Pakistan hoped the “UN Security Council will designate them soon”.

“The people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) have long suffered from India’s state terrorism, especially after the cruel lockdown and oppression imposed by the RSS-inspired BJP-led extremist government since 5 August 2019,” it concluded.

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