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April 23, 2021

Militant attack in Quetta: Pakistan hints at India’s involvement

Top Story

April 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan once again hinted that India was allegedly behind the militant attack at a local hotel in Quetta on Wednesday.

Replying to a question regarding a statement by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in which he had referred to “India’s nefarious designs” being behind the Quetta militant attack, a spokesman at the Foreign Office said at the weekly media briefing on Thursday: “In yesterday’s tragic incident in Quetta, in this regard, you must have seen the press briefing by the interior minister in which he had shared some details. Following the findings of the EU DisinfoLab report last year, we have repeatedly highlighted India’s global disinformation campaign against Pakistan.”

He said that thorough investigations, from all angles, are being carried out in the Quetta blast and Pakistan will pursue the perpetrators of this heinous act and bring them to justice. “The recent report by EU DisinfoLab has once again corroborated our long held position about India’s anti-Pakistan propaganda. However, the Chinese ambassador at the time of incident was not present in the hotel. All Chinese nationals are safe and the concerned authorities are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of Chinese diplomats and nationals,” he added.

When asked was there any possibility of future engagement between Pakistan and India after Wednesday’s incident, the spokesman did not rule out the possibility.

“Pakistan has consistently underscored the need for a meaningful dialogue with India and peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. However, for any meaningful and result-oriented dialogue to take place, a conducive and enabling environment is of utmost importance,” he responded. He pointed out that India, through its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, has vitiated the environment, therefore, the onus is on India to create an enabling environment so that a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue can take place. “As for the role of third countries -- including the UAE -- Pakistan has always highlighted the importance of the role by the international community in averting risks to the regional peace and stability and facilitating a lasting resolution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions, which call for a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices,” he said.

To a query whether under the Vienna Convention, the French ambassador to Pakistan could be expelled, the spokesman responded: “All states under the Vienna Convention have been granted the prerogative to take such decisions. However, on this particular issue a resolution has already been moved in the Parliament of Pakistan. I would not like to comment any further on the issue.”

The spokesman said that dates for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia are being worked out through diplomatic channels.

“It will be a bilateral visit in which the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as the regional situation are likely to come under discussion,” he said.