Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

Indian policemen walk past vehicles set on fire in Jammu by a mob during a protest on Feb. 11, 2019 against an attack on a paramilitary convoy the day before. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Updated 15 February 2019
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Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

  • India accuses Pakistan of links to attack that killed 45 soldiers 
  • Pakistan dissed the Indian allegation as 'uncalled for and baseless'

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner, at the Foreign Office and rejected the “baseless allegations” made by India, the Foreign Ministry said.

Earlier, Pakistan dissed the Indian aggression against Pakistan after the deadly Pulwana Attack as “uncalled for and baseless.”

Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Arab News on Friday that “Pakistan has been supporting the just cause of Kashmir, highlighting Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris and will continue doing so.”

Despite Pakistan expressing "grave concern" over the terror attack and condemning it, India announced today to withdraw the Most Favored Nation (MNF) status previously granted to Pakistan. The decision came after a cabinet meeting was held today during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama.

 In the World Trade Organization (WTO), this status means non-discrimination — treating virtually everyone equally, said Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a press briefing, adding that "the MFN status that had been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn."

“The [Indian] Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps – and I’m referring to [...] diplomatic steps – which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan,” Jaitley said on Friday, adding that there is “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistan “having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident.”



The Indian premier on Friday also warned Pakistan of a "strong action" after a high-level cabinet meeting on security was held in New Delhi.   

When asked if revoking the MFN status will in any way affect Pakistan, Ehsan Ullah said, “India’s MFN status to Pakistan was nothing more than a piece of paper, so its withdrawal doesn’t make any difference.”

At least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Pulwama when an explosive laden vehicle rammed into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary forces on a highway in Indian administered Kashmir on Thursday.

 Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility of the deadly attack.

Following Thursday night’s attack, Islamabad strongly rejected any insinuation that sought to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations. “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in the Valley,” the Foreign Office said in its press statement issued late Thursday.

“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said.

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Attack in Pulwama in IoK is a matter of grave concern.We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in Valley. We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to State of Pakistan without investigations.</p>&mdash; Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ForeignOfficePk/status/1096129410468581376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2019</a></blockquote>
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Gangsters attack train passengers in Hong Kong after night of violent protests

Updated 35 min 34 sec ago
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Gangsters attack train passengers in Hong Kong after night of violent protests

  • Groups of men in white were seen by eye-witnesses with poles and bamboo staves at a nearby village
  • The Hospital Authority said 45 people were injured in the Yuen Long attack
HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s opposition Democratic Party is investigating attacks by suspected triad gangsters on train passengers on Sunday, after a night of violence opened new fronts in the political crisis now deepening across the city.
Screams rang out when men, clad in white t-shirts and some armed with poles, flooded into the rural Yuen Long station and stormed a train, attacking passengers, according to footage taken by commuters and Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.
Some passengers had been at an anti-government march and the attack came after several thousand activists surrounded China’s representative office in the city, later clashing with police.
Lam, who was injured in the attack, said he was angry about a slow police response after he alerted them to the trouble, government-funded broadcaster RTHK reported.
Lam said it took police more than an hour to arrive after he alerted them and they had failed to protect the public, allowing the triads to run rampant. The party is now investigating.
“Is Hong Kong now allowing triads to do what they want, beating up people on the street with weapons?,” he asked reporters.
Police said early on Monday they had not made any arrests at the station or during a follow-up search of a nearby village but were still investigating.
Yau Nai-keung, Yuen Long assistant district police commander, told reporters that an initial police patrol had to wait for more reinforcements given a situation involving more than 100 people.
Groups of men in white were seen by eye-witnesses with poles and bamboo staves at a nearby village but Yau said police saw no weapons when they arrived.
“We can’t say you have a problem because you are dressed in white and we have to arrest you. We will treat them fairly no matter which camp they are in,” Yau said. Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of sometimes violent protests for more than two months in its most serious crisis since Britain handed the Asian financial hub back to Chinese rule in 1997.
Protesters are demanding the full withdrawal of a bill to allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party, fearing it would undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence.
They are also demanding independent inquiries into the use of police force against protesters.
On Sunday police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse activists on the edge of Hong Kong’s glittering financial district after they had fled China’s Liaison Office.
The Chinese government has condemned the action, which saw signs and a state symbol daubed with graffiti.
The unrest in Hong Kong marks the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
The Hospital Authority said 45 people were injured in the Yuen Long attack, with one in a critical condition. Some 13 people were injured after the clashes on Hong Kong island, one seriously, the authority said.
Some police had been injured in the clashes after protesters hurled bricks, smoke grenades and petrol bombs, said a police statement.