PM Imran Khan's minister admits to Pakistan role in Pulwama blast

FILE PHOTO: Soldiers examine the site of an explosion in Pulwama district in February Photo: Reuters/file
A senior Pakistani minister on Thursday admitted that Pakistan was responsible for the Pulwama terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 that killed 40 CRPF personnel and brought the two countries to the brink of a war.

Fawad Chaudhry, science and technology minister in the Imran Khan government, made the statement in the National Assembly, following a top Opposition leader’s comment in the House that “legs were shaking and forehead perspiring" at a meeting of Pakistan's top leaders, including Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, wherein Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pleaded to release Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

“Humne Hindustan ko ghus ke maara (We hit India in their home). Our success in Pulwama is a success of this nation under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and us are all part of that success,” S Chaudhry said during a debate.

Chaudhry, a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, made the remarks a day after Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the foreign minister in an important meeting pleaded to release Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27, 2019, after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets.

In the early hours of February 26, 2019, the IAF jets bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and avenged the Pulwama terrorist attack.

“I still remember that Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in that meeting in which PM Imran Khan had refused to come and Chief of Army staff was present... Pair kaanp rahe the, paseene maathe pe the (His feet were trembling ...He was sweating). The foreign minister said, for ‘God's sake, please let him go (Abhinandan Varthaman), otherwise, India will attack Pakistan at 9 tonight,” Sadiq said.

Chaudhry, who was the information and broadcasting minister at the time of the Pulwama attack, criticised Sadiq's remarks and termed them as “inappropriate”.

India attacks Pakistan over terrorism

In a sharp reaction to Islamabad's objection to references to it and cross-border terrorism in the Indo-US joint statement after their 2+2 dialogue, India on Thursday said the whole world knows about Pakistan's role in supporting terrorism and no amount of denial can hide this truth.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: "Even their leaders have time and again spoken about their role with regard to terrorism."

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