‘Lame excuse, not shocked’: India rejects Imran Khan’s response to Pulwama attack

New Delhi: Strongly rejecting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s response to its allegations of Islamabad’s involvement in the Pulwama attack, in which 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber on February 14, India on Tuesday said it was not surprised that Khan refused to acknowledge the attack on India’s security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism.

In a hard-hitting statement, the Ministry of External Affairs, India, said the Prime Minister of Pakistan has neither chosen to condemn the heinous act nor condoled with the bereaved families. “Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan. The Pakistani Prime Minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime,” it said.

“It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action,” it said.

New Delhi also ripped into Imran Khan’s insinuation that India’s attacks on Pakistan were linked to the election ahead. “It is regrettable that the Pakistani Prime Minister has insinuated that India’s response to the terrorist attack is determined by the forthcoming General Election. India rejects this false allegation. India’s democracy is a model for the world which Pakistan would never understand,” said a foreign ministry statement.

The government also dismissed as a “lame excuse” Imran Khan’s “offer” to investigate, “if given proof”, the role of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

In a video message, Khan on Tuesday assured India that he would act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama terror attack if New Delhi shares “actionable intelligence”, but warned against any “revenge” retaliatory action.

(With PTI inputs)