Pakistan Rejects India’s Pulwama Dossier
In a virtual rejection, two statements from the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicate that the Pulwama “incident,”Dossier has been summarily rejected.
Investigations on the technical details provided are continuing but the tone of the statements does not give any hope for a positive response from the Pakistani side which has gone to the extent of naming the Pulwama terrorist attack as an incident and not an act of terror.
This is surprising as in the initial press release on 15 February as well as a follow up on 17 February Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had indicated that the same as a Pulwama Attack.
Thus downgrading of the Attack to Incident appears to be a deliberate response to downplay the import of the same.
At numerous times Pakistan’s leadership including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have indicated that the Indian response to the Pulwama attack and overall tone of India Pakistan relations was dictated by the general elections that are scheduled to be held from 13 April to 19 May.
Given this backdrop it is unlikely that after receipt of technical information any change in the approach by Pakistan in accepting of findings of the Pulwama Dossier would be evident.
Relevant details of the Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan on 27 March are as given below-
(2019-03-27) Consistent with its commitment to cooperate, Pakistan today shared preliminary findings of its investigations with India along with a set of questions. Subsequently, the diplomatic corps in Islamabad was briefed as well.
It would be recalled that Indian had shared a paper on 27 February 2019. Soon after its receipt, Pakistan had constituted an investigation team, detained a number of persons for investigations and initiated work on the technical aspects of social media content, a main basis of Indian paper.
The Indian paper contains 91 pages and 6 parts, out of which only part 2 & 3 pertain to Pulwama incident. Other parts are generalized allegations. Pakistan is focusing on those parts which relate to Pulwama incident.
During the course of investigations, all aspects of the information provided by India have been thoroughly examined including the “confessional” video of Adil Dar, “claim” of responsibility for the attack, Whatsapp and Telegram numbers used to share videos and messages in support of Pulwama attack, list of 90 individuals suspected of belonging to a proscribed organization and 22 pin locations of alleged training camps.
Service Providers have been requested for data including relevant details of activities and contacts of the GSM number provided by India. A request for assistance from Whatsapp has also been made to the US Government.
While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far. Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations.
Additional information and documents from India would be essential to continue the process of investigations. Pakistan remains committed to taking this process to its logical conclusion.
The Attorney General, Foreign and Interior Secretaries and Director General (FIA) were present during the briefing
(2019-03-27) The Government of Pakistan has shared preliminary findings with the Government of India after examining the Indian report on Pulwama incident.
The Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Foreign Secretary and the findings on the Pulwama incident were shared with him.
Earlier, the Prime Minister of Pakistan had offered cooperation in investigation if credible evidence was provided by India. In response to this offer, a paper was handed over to Pakistan on 27 February, 2019. Pakistan has acted with a high sense of responsibility and extended full cooperation. We do so in the interest of regional peace and security. We have sought further information / evidence from India to take the process forward.