NEW DELHI: India angrily rejected Imran Khan’s offer of dialogue as tensions continued to increase after a suicide bomber killed more than 40 soldiers in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
India blamed Pakistan for the attack on Thursday in which a militant rammed a van full of explosives in to a bus carrying paramilitary troops. It was the worst single attack against Indian forces in Kashmir.
In a speech to the nation, the Pakistani prime minister on Tuesday offered to hold talks and asked India to show “actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved and we will take action.”
New Delhi described Khan’s offer as a “lame excuse.” The foreign ministry asked Khan to “stop misleading the international community” and take credible and visible action against the perpetrators of the attack in Pulwama and “terror groups operating from areas under their control.”
“Disclaiming any link between the terrorist attack and Pakistan is an oft-repeated excuse by Pakistan,” the statement said. “The Pakistani prime minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist who perpetrated this heinous crime.
“It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action," the statement reads.
Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad said it had carried out the attack.
The statement said Pakistan had failed to take action against those responsible for previous attacks against India, including the 2008 Mumbai massacre that killed 174 people.
“India has repeatedly stated that it is ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence,” the statement said.
The attack has led to calls within in India for a firm response against Pakistan.
In his speech, Khan warned India that in the event of an attack Pakistan would retaliate.