Uri attack an inside job, says Pakistan Defence Minister

Uri-attack-smoke (File) Smoke rising from the site of Uri terrorist attack, on September 18

Pakistan's Defence Minister has termed the terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir an 'inside job' and said the assault which left 18 soldiers dead was planned by India itself.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told Dawn News that no proof implicating Pakistan in the September 18 attack has surfaced yet, alleging it was 'evident' the attack, which India has blamed on Pakistan based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, was a plan 'devised by India itself'.

When asked why Pakistan did not raise the issue of captured alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav, when Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj termed Bahadur Ali a 'living evidence' of cross border terrorism against India in the UN General Assembly, Asif said Islamabad has been 'raising the issue on a daily basis' for several months.

"Not only Kulbhushan Jhadav but we also have Brahamdagh Bugti, to whom India issued a visa on a fake identity as proof," Asif said.

In a remark on the bill moved against Pakistan in the US Congress, Asif said anti-Pakistan elements are present in each and every country but the impact of their voices depends on the policies of those countries.

"Five or ten voices raised against us are not enough evidence to declare Pakistan a terrorist state," he said.

According to Asif, the 'entire world knows that India is not as serious about resolving the Kashmir dispute as Pakistan is' and that India has not received support from anywhere despite launching a diatribe against Pakistan.

He also said that China supports Pakistan's viewpoint on the Kashmir issue which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had raised again in his address at the general assembly.

Tensions have been at peaks between the two neighbouring nations since July 9, a day after top militant Burhan Wani was killed in a clash with security forces. Pakistan had described Wani as a 'martyr' while India hit back saying that Kashmir has been on edge due to Pakistan's interference in the country's internal matters.

The relations further soured after the September 18 attack in which four terrorists, suspectedly from across the border, attacked the India Army camp at Uri.

Sushma Swaraj in her address on Monday told the General Assembly that Pakistan harbours terrorism and it should be isolated from the entire world.

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