A day after India dismissed Pakistan's accusations of being behind the blast in Lahore near terrorist Hafiz Saeed's house, Islamabad lambasted New Delhi's denial.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has claimed there is "irrefutable evidence of India's aiding, abetting and financing of this terrorist incident".
We reject Indian denial of involvement in the 23 June 2021 terrorist attack in Lahore. There is irrefutable evidence of India’s aiding, abetting and financing of this terrorist incident. We have pointed out in the past also Indian state-sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan. 1/3— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) July 8, 2021
"There is no doubt that the intelligence agency from across the border was involved in planning and executing terrorist attacks against Pakistan," said Chaudhari.
An explosion had ripped through a busy street in Lahore on the morning of 23 June, killing three people and injuring 20 others. Police believed that the target was the residence of Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. An estimated 30 kg of explosives were used in the bomb that was planted in a car.
On Thursday, Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi called Islamabad's allegations "baseless propaganda", adding, “The international community is well aware of Pakistan’s credentials when it comes to terrorism. This is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama Bin Laden as martyrs."
In an apparent response to the statement, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Chaudhari said, "Pakistan's credentials in the fight against terrorism do not need endorsement by India. Pakistan's sacrifices and its achievements in fighting terrorism have been recognised by the world."
Chaudhari also alluded to Kulbhushan Jhadav, an Indian national and naval officer arrested five years ago by the Pakistani government on charges of terrorism and working for India's spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
"Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who had been caught red-handed in 2016, is the most familiar and undeniable face of India's state-sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan," Chaudhari added.
Jhadav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial in Pakistan. His execution has been stayed by the International Court of Justice.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs had said in April 2017 that Jhadav had been "kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly".