Pakistan recalls India envoy amid tensions over Kashmir attack

Pakistan has recalled its ambassador in New Delhi for consultations amid escalating tensions with nuclear-armed neighbour India, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman said on Monday.

“We have called back our High Commissioner in India for consultations. He left New Delhi this morning,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on Twitter.

India recalled its ambassador to Pakistan last week to discuss Pakistan relations in the wake of a suicide bombing in the disputed Kashmir region that killed 44 Indian paramilitary police.

New Delhi says Pakistan had a hand in the attack, which Islamabad denies.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) armed group claimed responsibilty for the worst attack on Indian soldiers in decades, drawing sharp reaction from New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a strong response for the suicide attack on a military convoy in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

“If our neighbour thinks it can destabilise India, then it is making a big mistake,” Modi said on Friday.

‘Incontrovertible evidence’

India has also withdrawn the most-favoured nation (MFN) trade status given to Pakistan and has moved on to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.

New Delhi insists “incontrovertible evidence is available of [Pakistan] having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident”.

India’s foreign ministry has said the United States supports New Delhi’s right to self-defence against cross-border attacks following the Kashmir incident.

In a readout released on Saturday, the foreign ministry said US National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, on Friday night, promising to help bring those behind the attack to justice.

“The two NSAs vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan cease to be a safe haven for JeM and terrorist groups that target India, the US and others in the region,” the foreign ministry said.

But Islamabad has rejected New Delhi’s accusations, saying they were “knee-jerk” and made without any thorough investigation.

“India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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