Foreign hand not ruled out in Quetta attack: Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 11 (IANS) In an apparent reference to India, Pakistan on Thursday said involvement of “foreign elements” can not be ruled out in the deadly suicide bombing in Quetta this week in which 74 people were killed.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakariya said there could be possibility of foreign involvement, but he did not directly blame any country for the Quetta carnage.

“The Indian intelligence agencies have remained involved in subversive activities in Pakistan especially Balochistan and Karachi,” the Pakistani spokesman told a weekly press briefing.

The Islamic State and a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the August 8 Quetta attack.

The army said the security forces have launched a “combing operation” in the suburbs of Quetta following the August 8 attack.

No one has so far been arrested. However, country’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali told Parliament on Wednesday that security officials have got “some clues” that have been shared with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also claimed to catch the perpetrators soon.

Pakistani officials claimed in March that security agencies arrested a “serving Indian naval officer” Kulbhushan Jadav in Balochistan province for his “anti-state activities to destabilize” the country.

Indian officials, however, denied any links with Jadav, saying that he was a retired officer and was running business in the Iranian port city of Chahbahar.

“The confessional statement of Jadav vindicates Pakistan’s claim in this regard,” the Pakistani spokesman said.

The spokesman also rejected the Indian allegations of infiltration across the Line of Control, which divides Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region.

“We have a firm position on it and we will not allow our land to be used against any other country. Pakistan itself is the victim of terrorism and it is committed to eradicating the menace,” he said.



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