On Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs expressed its suspicion regarding Pakistan’s purported crackdown on terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen which are inflicting terror on India from Pakistani territory.
Speaking to the media, Raveesh Kumar, the MEA spokesperson, said Pakistan’s arrests and detention of extremist leaders followed the “same script” used in the aftermath of previous terror incidents in India such as the attack on Parliament in 2001, Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 and the Pathankot air base attack in 2016. Kumar said Pakistan’s action against terrorists was “only on paper” and said the country’s military spokesperson had denied the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammed on its territory despite the fact that Pakistan Foreign Minister had accepted that Jaish chief Massod Azhar was present in Pakistan.
Rajeev Kumar further added that Pakistan was yet to take credible action against terrorist groups operating on its soil. Referring to the recent statements of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, where he had affirmed that the Jaish-e-Mohammed was indeed operating in the country, Rajeev Kumar said, “If Pakistan claims to be naya (new) Pakistan with naya soch, then we want to see naya action.”
Rajeev Kumar further emphasised that India had not “escalated” tensions with Pakistan in the wake of the Indian Air Force strike on Balakot and called the operation a “non-military” strike to avert possible terrorist attacks in the country. Kumar added India would act with “maturity” and “determination” in confronting terrorism.
Kumar also questioned Pakistan on why it had denied the use of the F-16 fighter in the skirmish with India and noted New Delhi had provided evidence of the use of the fighter jet to the US. Kumar said there were accounts of few eyewitness and electronic evidence of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman shooting down an F-16 and India had also shared proof of parts of Amraam missile which can only be carried by F-16.
“We have been transparent in informing the media about the incidents of February 27. One Mig-21 was shot down. Pakistan continues to peddle fake news that they shot down two of our aircraft. If as Pakistan claims it has a video recording of the downing of a second Indian aircraft then why have they not shared the video with international media?” questioned MEA spokesperson.
Rajeev Kumar, while reacting to reports of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi being spotted in London, said that the UK was still considering India’s request for extradition. “The fact that we have requested for extradition means we were aware he was in the UK. There is a process involved. It is now up to the UK government to respond to our request.” He added, “The Enforcement Directorate sent us a request early August which we sent to the UK. CBI sent us one towards the end of August. The UK is considering both requests and we have no other information.”