Islamabad has not shown any serious intent to address the concerns of India and the international community to rein in terror groups operating from its soil, the government said today, hitting out strongly against Pakistan in the wake of developments post the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers died. A 'naya Pakistan' should show 'naya action' against terror groups, the government said.
"If Pakistan claims to be a 'naya Pakistan' (New Pakistan) with a 'nayi soch' (new thinking), it should demonstrate 'naya' action (new action) against terror groups operating from its soil," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a press briefing this morning, taking a dig at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's 'naya Pakistan' remark.
Imran Khan had yesterday said that no terror group would be allowed to operate on Pakistani soil and carry out attacks abroad, days after his government began a crackdown against terror organisations.
On Monday, Pakistan had announced a new crackdown against terrorists and by Thursday, 182 religious schools run by banned groups had been seized, and more than 120 people detained.
Pakistani governments have in the past made similar pledges to stop terror attacks being launched from its soil. Crackdowns have been launched with fanfare but faded out after a while, with the proscribed groups able to survive and continue their operations.
Pakistan remains in a state of denial, Mr Kumar said, referring to Pakistan Army spokesperson's statement that terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed does not exist in Pakistan.
"It is regrettable that Pakistan still continues to deny Jaish-e-Mohammed's own claim of taking ownership of Pulwama attack. Pakistan Foreign Minister said 'they (JeM) have not claimed responsibility of the attack, there is some confusion'. Is Pakistan defending the JeM?" Mr Kumar asked.
After the Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force had bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed training facility in Pakistan's Balakot. In response, Islamabad sent warplanes to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the first aerial encounter between the two countries in nearly 50 years.
Days later, in interviews to foreign news networks, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed the Jaish-e-Mohammed had not claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack and its chief Masood Azhar, wanted in India for a series of terror strikes including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was "unwell". In one of the interviews to BBC he appeared to suggest the Pakistani establishment was in touch with the terrorist outfit too, before making a clumsy clarification.
On Wednesday, Pakistan's top military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the Jaish-e-Mohammed's claim of responsibility for the Pulwama attack had not been made from inside Pakistan.