Pakistan claimed on Thursday that at least 13 Indian spies were also among those killed in a massive US bomb blast targeting Islamic State’s regional affiliate in Afghanistan.
On April 13, the Pentagon announced that the US military dropped the ‘Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)’ – the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat – on a ‘cave-tunnel complex’ used by IS, commonly known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish, in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar.
Afghan officials the 20,000-pound bomb, which struck in the Achin district of Nangarhar – close to the border with Pakistan – killed 94 militants and that there were no civilian casualties.
Indian media reports suggested that some Indian nationals were also among the fatalities. The reports claimed that these Indian citizens were, in fact, Da’ish militants.
However, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria has a different story to tell. At his last weekly media briefing, the spokesperson had said he would get back with details when asked to confirm reports of presence of RAW agents in Afghanistan.
Now, Zakaria claimed that 13 RAW agents were killed in the US bombing in Nangarhar province close to the border with Pakistan.
“Your reference to the presence of 13 agents of Indian intelligence agency RAW among those who died by the bombing on a terrorists’ sanctuary vindicates our claim that India is using Afghan soil against Pakistan,” Zakaria said.
The presence of RAW’s agents should also be seen in the backdrop of revelations made by Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson of terrorist groups TTP and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, who turned himself in last week, Zakaria added.
“India clearly stands exposed as a state sponsoring and financing terrorists. Confession of Kulbhushan Jadhav and now revelations by Ehsanullah Ehsan are irrefutable proof against India. We have raised the issue of Indian involvement and terror financing in Pakistan at the UN and with other countries.”
He further said that Pakistan had always highlighted to the international community that India was using Afghan soil against Pakistan and it had been repeatedly stated by those in India in position of authority and responsibility that their effort was to squeeze Pakistan from the eastern and western borders.
“The international community should take note of Indian state sponsorship of activities of subversion, terrorism and financing of terrorists against Pakistan.”
Turning towards the current unrest in Kashmir, the spokesperson said India has waged war against unarmed and defenceless Kashmiris through state terrorism.
“Indian occupation forces forcibly barged into camps of schools and colleges in Pulwama on April 15. Ever since, students – including girls from primary to college levels all over Kashmir valley – have been demonstrating with pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Over 150 students have been injured in the brutal use of force, pellets and teargas shells fired by Indian occupation forces.”
To hide grave human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, Indian occupation forces have imposed a ban on Internet services in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Indian media has quoted an Indian official in IOK that “no amount of brute and lethal force could deter these girls”.
Spokesperson Zakaria termed the recent decision of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to ban holidays such as Jumatul Widah and Eid Milad-un-Nabi as discriminatory treatment meted out to minorities, especially Muslims, in India.
“We have seen numerous examples of what’s happening in India in terms of persecution of minorities like Muslims, Christians or Dalits. This has become a matter of concern for the international community.”
“It is being reported widely not only in India, where saner voices are raising concerns, but also in Asian and the Western media. These steps are deplorable and definitely do not serve inter-faith harmony, which is an objective pursued by the international community.”