India denies Pakistan’s allegations over funding of militant groups

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Pakistan Rangers (R) and Indian Border Security Force personnel take part in the daily flag lowering ceremony at their joint border post of Wagah near Lahore February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Sunday denied allegations by its arch-rival Pakistan that New Delhi had helped fund militant groups on Pakistani soil, with a foreign ministry spokesman dismissing them as “fabricated” and “figments of imagination”.

Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Saturday the country would present its evidence to the United Nations and other international bodies.

“This desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of Pakistan’s tactics,” India‘s foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a statement.

He added that Pakistan itself funds militants – an allegation Islamabad also denies.

The nuclear-armed neighbours – that have fought three wars since both won independence from colonial power Britain – have long accused each other of equipping insurgents.

But Saturday’s announcement by Pakistan’s foreign minister and military at a news conference in the capital Islamabad provided a heightened level of detail and specific accusations.

They said they had obtained documents that showed New Delhi had met with and funded members of the Pakistani Taliban, as well as Baloch insurgent groups from the southern province of Balochistan who have claimed responsibility for attacks on Chinese interests as part of an effort to sabotage China’s $65 billion Belt and Road investment plan in Pakistan.

India, meanwhile, has long alleged that Pakistan has founded, trained and funded secessionist militant groups operating in the Kashmir valley, a Himalayan region claimed by both countries but administered by New Delhi.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in New Delhi; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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