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'Talking About Post-Strike Action': Pak Min's Explanation After Admitting Role in Pulwama Terror Attack

A suicide bomber attack on a CRPF convoy in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, 2019 had led to the death of 40 soldiers. (REUTERS)

A suicide bomber attack on a CRPF convoy in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, 2019 had led to the death of 40 soldiers. (REUTERS)

Chaudhry, a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, made the remarks a day after Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an important meeting pleaded to release Indian Air Force Wing Commander 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 a sensational admission, a senior Pakistani minister on Thursday admitted that Pakistan was responsible for the deadly Pulwama terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 that brought the two countries to the brink of a war. "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," Science & Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in the National Assembly during a debate.

Facing backlash over the statement, the minister, later tried to clarify his statement. "What I spoke about was our post-Pulwama action. But we are not looking to stir up a war with India. It was a long speech and I have not said that Pulwama was Pakistan's doing," Chaudhry said while exclusively speaking to CNN-News18.

Appalled by the remark, India now wants global terror financing watchdog to take action. "FATF should take not of this statement by the minister in the national assembly.

Chaudhry, a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, made the remarks a day after Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an important meeting pleaded to release Indian Air Force Wing Commander 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 that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.

"Legs were shaking and forehead perspiring, and the foreign minister (Qureshi) told us, For God's sake, let him (Varthaman) go back now because India is attacking Pakistan at 9 PM in the night'", Sadiq said, recalling the high-level meeting which was also attended by Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, and added that "India was not planning to attack…They just wanted to kneel before India and send back Abhinandan." Chaudhry, who was the information and broadcasting minister at the time of the Pulwama attack, criticised Sadiq's remarks and termed them as "inappropriate".

Soon after 2019's terror assault that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers, some leader had attacked the BJP-ruled central government, accusing it of devising a plot ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said, "When elections are knocking on the door you are trying to stage a war... a shadow war. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are delivering political speeches. Even after such a big mishap you do not resign taking responsibility and are instead delivering political speeches."

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being behind the Pulwama attack as he was "desperate to win elections". "Modi sahab ko jeetna tha election is liye unhoney yeh karnama (pulwama) kiya, he said, adding that the "murderers of Mahatma Gandhi are now in power in Delhi".

(With inputs from PTI)


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