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March 28, 2019

Pakistan has no link to JeM: PM


March 28, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said there is “no place for terrorists in his Naya Pakistan” and reiterated that the country has no link to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the proscribed organisation blamed by India for the suicide bombing in Pulwama.“We’re already cracking down on them, we’re already dismantling the whole set up,” he said in an interview with British publication Financial Times. “What is happening right now has never happened before in Pakistan,” he said.

Terming Indian prime minister Narendra Modi as aggressor for resorting to an airstrike inside Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, Imran Khan said he fears India has been gripped by “war hysteria” ahead of the elections there.

“I’m still apprehensive before the elections, I feel that something could happen,” the premier said.

“When Pulwama (attack) happened I felt that Modi’s government used that to build this war hysteria. The Indian public should realise that this is all for winning the elections. It’s nothing to do with the real issues of the Sub-Continent,” he said.

Imran said Modi’s “anti-Muslim” government and its heavy-handed policies in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) caused the attack.

“There’s Jaish-e-Mohammed in India, the boy who blew himself up, the 19-year-old boy, was a Kashmiri-Indian boy,” he said. “His parents said he was radicalised by some abuse by the security force. So it was an Indian boy, Indian operation, Indian car, Indian explosive. Why was Pakistan blamed?”

The prime minister added that Pakistan could not allow terror groups to organise with impunity on its soil.

“We cannot take the stance anymore where you have these armed groups in our country,” he said. “We can’t afford being blamed for any terrorist activity, like Pulwama,” he said.

On Pakistan’s economic woes, the prime minister said the country was “pretty close to an agreement” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “I’m determined that this will be the last time Pakistan will ever have to go to the IMF,” he stressed.

The premier also challenged claims that Pakistan had become a client state of China under the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“All I can say is that we are really grateful to the Chinese because this has been extremely helpful to us,” he said, dismissing criticism that China's loans to Pakistan represent “debt-trap diplomacy”.

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