Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has held India responsible for Monday's attack on the Stock Exchange in Karachi saying that it was a huge conspiracy to destabilise the Islamic nation and take people hostage.
"There is no doubt that India is behind the attack. [...] A huge conspiracy was hatched by our neighbouring country India to destabilize Pakistan. The terrorists were fully armed. Their only aim was to take people hostage in the stock exchange," said Khan in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He compared the Karachi attack to the deadliest terrorist attack in India’s history - the 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed, and over 300 injured by terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an extremist Islamist terrorist organisation based in Pakistan.
"Our agencies are on high alert and they are fully prepared to deal with such an attack," he added.
On Monday, the Indian foreign ministry categorically rejected Pakistan's allegation that India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) sponsored the attack, terming it as absurd.
"India rejects the absurd comments of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on the terrorist attack in Karachi. Pakistan cannot shift the blame on India for its domestic problems," Anurag Shrivastava, a spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, said.
The ministry emphasised that, unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi.
On Monday, four armed assailants attacked the Karachi Stock Exchange - also known as Pakistan's Wall Street - killing two security guards and one police officer. All the suspects were gunned down by security personnel within eight minutes. The perpetrators launched a grenade attack at the main gate to the building and opened fire but police said the gunmen failed to make it to the trading floor. Militants from the Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.