India Open to Third-Party Verification of Pakistani Action Against Terror Camps

India has termed the steps Pakistan has taken so far as 'cosmetic'.

New Delhi: India would be open to international verification by third countries of Pakistan’s act to remove terror infrastructure, government sources said on Saturday.

After the Pulwama terror attack and the airstrikes two weeks later, India had asked Pakistan to take “immediate and verifiable action” against terrorism emanating from Pakistani territory.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on February 14, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. India conducted airstrikes on February 26 targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammed facility in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A day later, Pakistan conducted retaliatory airstrikes in Kashmir.

Islamabad had announced a number of steps earlier this month against proscribed groups, detaining a large number of members and closing their facilities. Pakistan had also finally put Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing, Falah-e-Insaniat foundation on the list of banned groups.

Indian government sources remain sceptical about Pakistan’s sincerity in tackling terror, with all the steps described as merely “cosmetic”.

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They said that India would prefer “international verification” by third parties on whether Pakistan has removed terror camps for which coordinates have been provided by New Delhi.

They also point out that if Pakistan was sincere, it should hand over wanted Indian nationals like Mumbai mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Sayeed Salahudeen.

On February 27, India had handed over a dossier on the involvement of JeM’s Masood Azhar in the Pulwama terror attack, along with the continuing activity of other terror groups targeting India.