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Monday, May 20, 2024

Was a drone spotted over Indian High Commission in Islamabad?

The Indian foreign ministry claimed that a drone was sighted over the premises of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on June 26. How was Pakistan reacted to the allegations?

The Foreign Office on Friday dismissed allegations by India’s External Affairs Ministry regarding a “drone” being spotted over the Indian High Commission in Islamabad as “patently false”.

The statement came after the Indian foreign ministry claimed that a drone was sighted over the premises of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on June 26.

“This has been taken up officially with Pakistan. We expect Pakistan to investigate the incident and prevent recurrence of such breach of security,” NDTV quoted the Indian Ministry of External Affairs as saying in a statement.

Responding to the claims, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said: “We have seen the Indian MEA’s statement and reports in certain sections of the Indian media alleging a drone flying over the premises of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.”

He said these “preposterous” claims were contrary to the facts and “no proof whatsoever has been shared with Pakistan to substantiate these allegations.”

Chaudhri pointed out that “this propaganda campaign by India” was happening at a time when evidence gathered in the recent Lahore blast was largely pointing to “external forces with a history of perpetrating state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan”.

“Pakistan rejects these patently false allegations and diversionary Indian tactics and will continue to stand by the people of [Indian-occupied Kashmir] in their just struggle for the right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions.”

Two days ago, the FO had also rejected the Indian allegations about Pakistan’s role in a drone attack in occupied Kashmir and termed them “irresponsible”.

Read More: UN must call out India on its state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan

“Pakistan categorically rejects the irresponsible and misleading statement by Indian Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy regarding an alleged drone attack in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” it had said.

Notably, at least three people were killed and 21 injured on Wednesday after a bomb blast at Lahore’s Johar Town. The explosion took place around 11am in a residential area near the town’s Allah Hu boulevard, police said. Television footage showed visible damage to nearby houses whose walls had collapsed and window panes shattered.

In 2020, Pakistan handed over a dossier on India’s terror campaign to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, urging him to prevail on New Delhi to desist from its illegal and aggressive activities.

Since 2014, Pakistan has lost 83,000 civilians and soldiers in the fight against terrorism, which also caused a massive setback to the country’s economic and social development — to the tune of $126 billion.

Read More: Why India Should Investigate Terrorism Challenges levelled by Pakistan

“We knew of India’s hand in such attacks,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in November 2020. “We now have gathered irrefutable evidence that India is engaged in a systematic campaign to destabilise Pakistan through terrorist attacks, promotion of secession and subversion in what is called Hybrid/5th generation war.”