Narendra Modi under pressure from supporters to punish Pakistan for suicide attack on Indian paramilitary convoy.
Pakistan has hit back at the allegations by India that it is harbouring fighters from the armed group that claimed responsibility for the last week’s deadly attack on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Thursday’s car bomb attack, which killed 42 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
“If our neighbour thinks it can destabilise India, then it is making a big mistake,” Modi said on Friday.
On Sunday, Islamabad rejected New Delhi’s accusations, saying they were “knee-jerk” and made without any thorough investigation.
“India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is both delusional and counterproductive.
“India must come out of the denial mode, end state repression against Kashmiri youth, address widespread alienation in IOK and pursue the path of dialogue,” the statement added.
The bombing ratcheted up the tension between the two South Asian neighbours, which rule parts of Muslim-majority Kashmir while claiming the entire territory as their own. India has, for years, accused Pakistan of backing separatist groups in divided Kashmir.
Pakistan insists that it only offers political support to Kashmir’s suppressed population.
Formed in 2000, the JeM (or Army of Muhammad) is a Pakistan-based armed group that aims to undermine and overthrow Indian control over Kashmir through attacks on security and government targets.
The group was founded by Masood Azhar, who previously fought under the banner of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and has been linked to al-Qaeda.
“JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation,” added the statement from Pakistan foreign ministry.