File photo: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( ANI )
'Why will Pakistan do this right now when it is heading towards stability?' Khan asked.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that India was blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama attack "without any evidence".
Khan, who made a televised address saying his message was for the "Indian government", asked why Pakistan would do such a thing — mastermind the Pulwama attack — just before the visit of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman. "Why would we want to draw attention from that to this?"
He also asked what there was in it for Pakistan?
"Why will Pakistan do this right now when it is heading towards stability?" Khan asked.
Khan said Pakistan had also borne the brunt of terrorism — losing 70,000 people over 15 years to violence.
Khan also warned India that Pakistan would be forced to retaliate if India should attack it.
"If you (Indian govt) thinks you will attack us and we will not think of retaliating, we will retaliate," he said. "We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us only god knows."
Pakistan PM Imran Khan's statement on #Pulwama terrorist attack: My statement is for the Indian government. You (Indian govt) have blamed the Pakistan government without any evidence. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/yOVFFamT28— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2019
"It is in our interest that nobody from our soil spreads violence. I want to tell Indian govt that we will take action if evidence is found against anyone from Pakistan," he added.
Over 40 CRPF personnel died last Thursday in the Pulwama attack after a local youth, Adil Adhmad Dar, rammed a car laden with explosives into a bus ferrying Central Reserve Police Force personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
The attack was later claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group which is headed by Pakistani national Masood Azhar.
Azhar has been living in Pakistan ever since India released him after the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC 814 in December 1999.
Speaking about Kashmir on Tuesday, Khan said India is guilty of "one-dimensional oppression".
He said New Delhi Islamabad should talk, while referencing the current peace talks in Afghanistan.
"After 17 years, everyone has agreed there is no military solution in Afghanistan," said Khan.
Since the Pulwama attack, India has raised custom duties on Pakistani imports by 200% making trade between the neighbours virtually impossible.
India and Pakistan meanwhile have both called back their envoys for consultations.