Pakistan says India is sponsoring “terrorism” aimed at destabilising the country and targeting its economic partnership with China, accusations top Pakistani officials delivered at a news conference.
Pakistan and India routinely accuse each other of targeting the other, but this was a rare time Pakistani officials said they prepared a mountain of evidence to back up the allegations against their South Asian rival.
In a joint news conference on Saturday in the capital Islamabad, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, along with military spokesman Major-General Babar Iftikhar, said Indian intelligence agents were operating out of neighbouring Afghanistan to plan attacks within Pakistani borders.
“India was allowing its land to be used against Pakistan for terrorism,” said Qureshi, adding that New Delhi was also planning attacks from “neighbouring countries”.
Qureshi said Pakistan is sending its evidence to the United Nations demanding India be censured, warning “without international intervention it is difficult to guarantee peace in nuclear South Asia”, a region where both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons.
“We have irrefutable facts that we will present before the nation and international community through this dossier,” the minister claimed.
The news conference comes a day after Pakistan’s military said five civilians and an army soldier were killed by shelling from Indian troops across the highly militarised border that separates the Pakistani and Indian sides of Kashmir.
The disputed border in the Himalayan region is a source of long-standing conflict between the two powers.
Iftikhar, who heads the media and public relations office for Pakistan’s armed forces, presented some of the dossier’s evidence purporting to show India’s involvement in attacks within Pakistan, including bank receipts showing funding and photos showing alleged perpetrators of attacks inside the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
He also played an audio clip purporting to record a conversation between an Indian intelligence official and Allah Nazar, who is the top leader of Baloch separatist fighters in southwest Pakistan.
Iftikhar added Indian intelligence agents were especially targeting Chinese development projects that have come with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He alleged the attackers who led a deadly assault on a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Gwadar in October 2016 were in telephone contact with Indian intelligence handlers before and during the assault.
Chinese companies operate the Pakistani city’s key port facilities and it is considered a keystone of major Pakistani-Chinese trade projects.
The military spokesman also accused India of sponsoring banned organisations including UN-designated “terrorist” groups Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, and Allah Nazar’s Baloch Liberation Army.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s foreign ministry, Gran Hewad, said on Saturday Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is planning to visit Afghanistan next week.
The foreign ministry said this will be Khan’s first visit to Kabul as Pakistan’s prime minister. It was not mentioned whether he would raise Pakistan’s allegations of Indian interference.