India has ‘mischievously’ presented itself as a ‘victim’ of terrorism: Pakistan

Islamabad cites a recent U.N. report and claims presence of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in India.

A day after the Ministry of External Affairs described Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s allegations against India as ‘diversion’, Islamabad cited a recent U.N. report and claimed presence of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in India.

The Ministry did not respond to the allegation but officials told The Hindu earlier that the Pakistani statements are aimed at targeting India ahead of January 2021 when India will begin its stint as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

Also read: Pakistan has omitted names of 26/11 ‘masterminds’ in terror list: India

The office of the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday claimed that India has ‘mischievously’ presented itself as a ‘victim’ of terrorism and said, “The presence of ISIL and AQIS in India as highlighted in recent U.N. report indicates that India is emerging as a hotbed of U.N.-designated international terrorist organisations and posing a great risk to the region”. The claim indicates a change in Pakistani campaign for global platforms where it is often accused of harbouring top international terrorists from a wide variety of groups like the al-Qaeda.

A U.N. report in June had pointed out “significant numbers” of IS and al-Qaeda members in Kerala and Karnataka. The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning the IS, the al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities said, “One member-state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members.”

Soon thereafter, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy told the Lok Sabha that the information was “not factually correct”.

“The Union Home Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the National Investigation Agency has registered 17 cases related to the presence of Islamic State (IS) in southern States of Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and arrested 122 accused persons,” The Hindu had reported on September 16.

Also read: Pakistan says it has evidence of India sponsoring attacks

Officials had earlier told The Hindu that they notice a ‘pattern’ in Pakistan’s recent statements to target India ahead of its term at the Security Council. Pakistan, that has been grey listed at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is also trying to build a case given that India will face its routine scrutiny or “Mutual Evaluation Report” (MER) on terrorism financing and money laundering issues at the FATF beginning February 2021.

Over the weekend, Mr. Qureshi had claimed that his country is preparing evidence of India’s support to terrorism inside Pakistan. India responded saying the Minister was trying to divert attention from internal crisis.

“The so-called claims of ‘proof’ against India enjoy no credibility, are fabricated and represent figments of imagination. This desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of Pakistan’s tactics and proof of its terror sponsorship has been admitted by none other than its own leadership,” official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava of the Ministry of External Affairs said in response on Sunday.

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