In a news conference, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi claimed Islamabad has “credible evidence” linking Indian agents to the killing of Muhammad Riaz in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on September 8 last year and of Shahid Latif in the city of Sialkot, near Kashmir, a month later.
“These were killings-for-hire cases involving a sophisticated international setup spread over multiple jurisdictions,” Qazi said.
He accused two Indian agents of recruiting assassins to kill the men – both slain in the vicinity of mosques – but did not provide further information about the victims or suggest why New Delhi might have targeted them.
India has long accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists, particularly in the disputed and heavily militarized region of Kashmir, which both countries claim in its entirety. A de facto border called the Line of Control divides it between New Delhi and Islamabad. The dispute has led to three wars between the two nations.
Qazi on Thursday compared the alleged killings in Pakistan to other purported recent Indian assassination plots in North America.
“They fit the pattern of similar cases which have come to light in other countries including Canada and the United States,” Qazi said. “Clearly the Indian network of extrajudicial and extraterritorial killings has become a global phenomenon.”
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rejected Qazi’s allegations, calling them “Pakistan’s latest attempt at peddling false and malicious anti-India propaganda.”
“As the world knows, Pakistan has long been the epicenter of terrorism, organized crime, and illegal transnational activities. India and many other countries have publicly warned Pakistan cautioning that it would be consumed by its own culture of terror and violence,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.
“Pakistan will reap what it sows.”
Last November, the US accused an Indian government official of being involved in a conspiracy to kill an American citizen on its home soil.
The revelation came a little over a month after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly alleged that India may have been involved in the murder of a Canadian national on its territory, prompting a furious response from New Delhi and a diplomatic fallout between the two countries.
The Indian government has denied involvement in the American and Canadian cases and has set up a high-level committee to investigate the accusations in the US.