Pakistan foreign ministry website hacked, India blamed

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Islamabad, Feb 18 (IANS) Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the deadly Pulwama attack on February 14, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website was not working in several countries including the US on Saturday, the media reported.

Blaming India for the attack on the website, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal alleged that New Delhi was behind the attack out of fear of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings against Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Express Tribune reported.

The public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case is slated to commence on Monday before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage in April 2017 following which India moved the ICJ. A 10-member ICJ bench restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the case was adjudicated.

Users in US, Britain, Holland, Norway and Australia were unable to access Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on Saturday, the report said.

According to a report in the Dawn, cross-border hacking attacks have been sporadic yet common since at least 1998.

Fingers were pointed to India-based hackers when the official website of PPP was found defaced in June 2017. In December that year, the official website of Karachi police was hacked and defaced, allegedly by Indian hackers, the report said.

Earlier, in July 2016, hackers claiming to be from Pakistan defaced websites of seven Indian embassies, high commissions, and consulates in various countries with pro-Pakistan Army slogans.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website was accessible in India on Monday, but an attempt to open the Pakistan Army website showed the following message:

“The owner of this website (www.pakistanarmy.gov.pk) has banned the country or region your IP address is in (IN) from accessing this website.”

There were unverified reports that several other websites in Pakistan were not working following the February 14 Pulwama attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers for which Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility.

–IANS

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