Pakistan: No links found in probe of Indian Pulwama dossier

Islamabad says the allegation that Pakistani groups were involved in Kashmir suicide attack was unsubstantiated.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours spiked after a suicide bombing in the Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian soldiers [File: Channi Anand/AP]

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan says it has conducted initial investigations into a dossier provided by neighbouring India on the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir, concluding that so far no links can be drawn between Pakistan and the bombing, the foreign office said.

At least 54 individuals had been arrested, 22 locations investigated and a number of phone numbers tracked as part of the investigation, said a Pakistani foreign office statement released on Thursday.

Pakistan said it had shared its findings with India a day earlier, while also briefing top diplomats in the capital Islamabad.


Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours spiked last month after a suicide bombing in the Indian-administered Kashmir town of Pulwama killed at least 40 Indian security forces personnel.

India blamed Pakistan for “controlling” the attack and launched punitive air raids on what it termed “a training camp” on Pakistani soil shortly thereafter.

Pakistan said the air attacks hit an uninhabited forest, and launched its own air attacks adjacent to Indian military targets, causing no casualties.

Both sides deployed fighter jets and in an aerial dogfight, an Indian aircraft was shot down, resulting in the capture of its pilot.

With his return two days later, tensions began to subside, although both countries’ militaries remain on high alert.

On Wednesday, Pakistan fully reopened its airspace for flights originating or departing from the country for the first time in a month. Transit flights over Pakistani airspace remain suspended.

Crackdown on dissent

Shortly after the attack, a video emerged of alleged suicide bomber Adil Dar, a native of Indian-administered Kashmir, claiming responsibility for the attack and swearing allegiance to Pakistan-based armed group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).


Dar’s family told Al Jazeera he took up arms after seeing the extent of a sustained Indian security forces crackdown on dissent in the disputed Kashmir region, one that particularly targets young men.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, which both claim in full but administer separate portions of.

Following the Pulwama attack, India blamed Pakistan for allowing JeM and other armed groups to operate freely on it soil, with one top Indian general going so far as to say Pakistani intelligence “controlled” the attack.

On February 27, India shared a dossier of evidence with Pakistan linked to the attack, days after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had invited Indian authorities to share “actionable intelligence” on the attack.

On Thursday, Pakistan said it had examined the evidence and had found no evidence of links to Pakistan.

“While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far,” said the Foreign Office statement.


“Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations.”

Pakistan said it remained “committed” to investigating the attack, and requested “additional information and documents” to continue the process.

Earlier this month, the country launched a crackdown on Kashmir-focused armed groups such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operating on its soil, arresting dozens and taking over schools, mosques and other facilities run by those groups.

It also added LeT affiliates to its list of banned “terrorist organisations”, a long-standing demand by India and others in the international community.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

Source: Al Jazeera