New Delhi: Indian MEA spokesperson dismissed Pakistan's claims about India's involvement in a blast near Hafiz Saeed's residence and spoke about how India is closely monitoring Afghanistan.
India on Thursday, July 8, strongly dismissed Pakistani claims that New Delhi was behind the recent blast near Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief and terrorist Hafiz Saeed's residence in Lahore.
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi also asserted that the international community "is well aware of Pakistan’s credentials" when it comes to terrorism.
"This is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama Bin Laden as martyrs," he said at the weekly virtual briefing.
He further said: "It is not new for Pakistan to engage in baseless propaganda against India. Pakistan would do well to expend the same effort in setting its own house in order and taking credible and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorists who have found safe sanctuaries there."
Last week, a blast near terrorist Hafiz Saeed's residence in Lahore killed three people and injured 24, including a police policeman.
Pakistan's National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf alleged that Indian agencies were behind the explosion.
Hafiz Saeed is the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD).
MEA spokesman said India is "carefully monitoring the deteriorating security situation" in Afghanistan and its implications on the safety and security of Indian nationals in that country.
"Our response will be calibrated accordingly," he said.
He also said, "You would have seen the clarification issued by our Embassy in Kabul earlier this week, that our Embassy in Kabul and Consulates in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif are functional".
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has said the American military would complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, ahead of schedule.
The President dismissed mounting concerns about a civil war developing in the country occupied by the US since 2001.
“The mission is accomplished in that we got Osama bin Laden and that terrorism is not emanating from that part of the world,” said Biden.
India also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) "not to allow" its platform to be subverted by “vested interests” such as Pakistan to interfere in India’s internal affairs or to carry out propaganda against it.
"The OIC should be watchful that their platform is not subverted by these vested interests for comments on internal affairs of India or for anti-India propaganda through biased and one-sided resolutions," the MEA spokesman said.
Answering questions on the OIC’s offer to arrange a meeting between India and Pakistan, he said, "We have seen the Press Release issued by the OIC Secretariat regarding the meeting between our Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed and the Secretary-General of the OIC on July 5."
The meeting was held in response to an earlier request made by the OIC Secretary-General to meet the Indian Ambassador, Bagchi said.
"Our Ambassador conveyed the need to correct some of the misperceptions about India that are perpetrated by vested interests in the OIC," the MEA spokesman said.
On matters concerning the travel of Indians into the Gulf region, Mr. Bagchi said: "As we have said earlier, we hope that with the vastly improved Covid situation in India, countries would ease restrictions for travel from India. We have been taking up this issue with foreign partners wherever possible.
"He said, recently, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and MoS V. Muraleedharan held a meeting with Indian Ambassadors in Gulf countries, "Our Ambassadors were requested to take up with their host countries the issue of resumption of flights with India," he said.