23 April 2019
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In its preliminary findings based on the dossier shared by India, Islamabad has found ‘no evidence’ of linking the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama with Pakistan, a senior official privy to the development revealed on Wednesday.
“We have conducted preliminary investigations based on the Indian dossier and till now we have not come up with any evidence linking Pakistan or any individual or entity with the Pulwama attack,” the official, who requested not to be identified since he was not authorised to speak to the media, told The Express Tribune.
The official, however, added that Pakistan was still willing to cooperate with India if it had any additional information regarding the Pulwama attack.
The preliminary findings were shared with India through its High Commissioner in Islamabad by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua earlier in the day.
“The Government of Pakistan has shared preliminary findings with the Government of India after examining the Indian report on Pulwama incident,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
The statement noted that Pakistan had acted with “a high sense of responsibility” and extended full cooperation.
“We do so in the interest of regional peace and security. We have sought further information / evidence from India to take the process forward,” it said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had offered cooperation in investigation if credible evidence was provided by India.
In response to this offer, a paper was handed over to Islamabad on February 27.
War frenzy had swept across India even since a young man from Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) rammed a vehicle full of explosives into a military convoy in Pulwama, killing nearly four dozen soldiers last month.
The Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group, which Delhi claims operates from Pakistan, purportedly claimed credit for the deadliest attack on Indian troops in IoK.
New Delhi put the blame squarely on the state of Pakistan, deployed its troops menacingly close to the border, and started issuing threats.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals had further spiralled as Indian jets were shot down a day after India Air Force planes recklessly violated Pakistan’s airspace and dropped payloads in a mountainous Pakistani village.
New Delhi claimed its forces also shot down a Pakistan F-16 fighter jet but failed to substantiate its claim with evidence.
To de-escalate tensions, Pakistan handed over to Indian authorities the captured Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman ‘as a peace gesture’ but warned that the desire for peace should not be construed as weakness.

Abdul Gh Lone

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