Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's dismissal of allegations on Tuesday of his country's involvement in the worst-ever terror attack in Pulwama on 14 February and warning of retaliation if India takes up military action has drawn sharp retort from all corners.
Reacting for the first time, in a televised address, Khan said that if India has any proof of a Pakistani national's involvement, it should hand it to Pakistan, adding that his country will take action on it.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh took affront to Khan's statement and asked if Pakistan took up action after the "proofs of Mumbai's 26/11" adding that it was "time to walk the talk".
Dear @ImranKhanPTI you have Jaish chief Masood Azhar sitting in Bahawalpur & masterminding the attacks with ISI help. Go pick him up from there. If you can’t let us know, we’ll do it for you. BTW what has been done about the proofs of Mumbai’s 26/11 attack. Time to walk the talk. pic.twitter.com/Zct6I7QieY
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 19, 2019
National Spokesperson of Indian National Congress (INC) Manish Tewari alleged that Khan became the prime minister with the help of Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Tewari also said that it was not surprising that Khan would lend his support to Azhar.
Maulana Masood Azhar helped @ImranKhanPTI become Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Jaish-e Muhammad extensively campaigned for @PTIofficial in Southern Punjab of Pak. It is therefore not surprising that Puppet of Pakistani deep state came out swinging in support of his friend-MMA — Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) February 19, 2019
Shiromani Akali Dal national spokesperson Manjinder S Sirsa said that Khan's statement was reflective of "small men occupying big offices" and castigated the Pakistani prime minister for not expressing sympathy for victims of families of the terror attack.
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) February 19, 2019
Interestingly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti defended Khan saying that "Pak PM deserves a chance since he’s recently taken over".
Disagree. Pathankot dossier was given to them but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators . Time to walk the talk. But Pak PM deserves a chance since he’s recently taken over. Of course the war rhetoric has more to do with the impending elections than anything else. https://t.co/QIOxkzuSth — Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 19, 2019
The political sphere aside, journalists have also reacted strongly against Khan's remarks on Pulwama encounter. Nidhi Razdan, executive editor at NDTV, took to Twitter and said Pakistan did "nothing" after reports on 26/11 attack.
It’s very well for @ImranKhanPTI to say Pak will act if India gives “actionable intelligence” on Pulwama, but what happened to the 26/11 dossiers? Nothing. After Pathankot, Pakistani investigators, even ISI, came to the airbase. What happened to that? Nothing.
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) February 19, 2019
Another journalist from NDTV, Sreenivasan Jain mocked Khan asking for evidence of the terror-strike even after JeM claimed responsibility for the attack.
Dear @ImranKhanPTI, on the question of evidence, one fact and one question.
Fact: Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed credit for the Pulwama attack.
Question: which country is JeM operating from?
— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) February 19, 2019
Earlier on Tuesday, Khan said he hoped that "better sense will prevail" on the Indian side as he believed that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved through dialogue between the two countries.
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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2019 16:49:06 IST