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Monday, July 15, 2024  
08 Muharram 1446  

Pakistan seeks action against India for assassinations of nationals on Pakistani soil

Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi says Pakistan has extensive evidence to support accusations
Foreign Minister important press conference | Aaj News

Pakistan has sought action against India for assassinations of nationals on Pakistani soil, claiming that the modus operandi was ‘quite similar’ to that used in Canada and the United States.

“These cases reveal a growing sophistication and brazenness of Indian sponsored terrorist acts in Pakistan they fit the pattern of similar cases which have come to light in other countries including Canada and the United States,” Foreign Secretary Syrus Sajjad Qazi said in a media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

Although Pakistan has accused its nuclear-armed neighbour of planning and supporting terrorist activities on its soil in the past, in recent times, two North American countries have also made similar kind of accusations against the Narendra Modi-led government.

Last year, Canada expelled an Indian diplomat after finding credible allegations linking Indian government agents to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia in June. In a tit-for-tat move, New Delhi had expelled a Canadian diplomat.

Concerns over Indian actions grew when US prosecutors in November accused an agent of the Indian government of directing the attempted assassination of an American citizen on US soil. The indictment released by the Department of Justice revealed new details about India’s alleged targeting of Sikh activists around the world.

“Clearly the Indian network of extrajudicial and extra-territorial killings has become a global phenomenon,” Qazi said.

What Pakistan is saying

  • Pakistan has credible evidence of the links between Indian agents and the assassination of two Pakistani nationals on Pakistani soil.
  • Killings, which were for higher cases, involved a sophisticated international setup spread over multiple jurisdictions
  • Indian agents used technology and safe havens on foreign soil to commit assassinations in Pakistan they recruited, financed, and supported criminals, terrorists, and unsuspected civilians to play defined roles in these assassinations.
  • Indian media and social media accounts immediately claimed and glorified these killings as successful retribution against enemies of India and projected their capacity to carry out these illegal acts
  • Potential assassins were recruited using social media, talent supporters, and fake Da’esh accounts.
  • There was complete compartmentalization of various components of the operation with the employment of teams of financiers’ locaters and assassins.
  • Elaborate exit plans were developed to obscure all potential tracks

Information on two cases

Before sharing information on two cases, Qazi stated that a few similar cases were under investigation the country would reveal details about them in due course.

Assassination of Shahid Latif

On October 11, 2023, Shahid Latif was assassinated outside a mosque in Sialkot. A detailed investigation revealed that “an Indian agent Yogesh Kumar based in a third country orchestrated the assassination.”

The foreign secretary did not name the third country.

Yogesh recruited Muhammad Umair, a labourer in that third country, to act as a contact with local criminals in Pakistan to trace and assassinated Shahid. “They recruited local criminals who were able to locate and trace Shahid Latif, however, they were unable to carry out the execution.”

After some other failed attempts, the agents sent Umair to Pakistan to kill Latif. He organised a team of five target killers who after the first failed attempt on October 9, 2023, succeeded in assassinating Latif on October 11.

The law enforcement authorities arrested the target killers, including Umair, by confessional statements and technical evidence, Qazi said and claimed that the prime suspect was trying to flee the country on October 12.

“All those involved in the reconnaissance, surveillance, and killings have been apprehended and a case is being tried in the court of law,” the foreign secretary said and claimed that the country has the evidence of transactions made in the process linking with an entire chain to Indian agent Yogesh.

Assassination of Muhammad Riaz

Another Indian agent was involved in the killing of another Pakistani national Muhammad Riaz. He was killed during Fajr prayers in a mosque in Rawalakot on September 8, 2023.

The law enforcement agencies tracked the killer Muhammad Abdullah Ali and arrested him on September 15, 2023, while boarding a flight at Jinnah airport in Karachi.

Interrogation revealed that Ali was recruited and guided by Indian agents Ashok Kumar Anand and Yogesh Kumar. They allegedly utilised the social media app Telegram to recruit Ali who was asked to locate Riaz.

The killer received money through a middleman based in a third country. He was also provided with weapons and ammunition.

He attempted to kill Riaz on September 7, 2023, but it was failed.

The LEAs arrested the killer and supporters from various cities in Pakistan. Sources told Aaj News that the two nationals were killed for raising voices for the oppressed people in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have documentary, financial, and forensic evidence of two Indian agents who masterminded these assassinations,” he said and added that the country has reached the government of the third country.

Pakistan called for bringing the killers, their facilitators, and financiers involved in such murders to justice. “India must be held accountable for its blatant violation of international law,” Qazi said and added that Indian actions were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a breach of the UN Charter.

When asked about the killing linked to similar in the US and Canada, he said: “The modus operandi looks quite similar that inspections are received from Indian agents, we believe from their headquarters back home. They then go about looking for contacts and contract killers in the local community and then they execute the crime.”

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