Pakistan blames India for 2021 bombing near militant’s home

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s interior minister on Tuesday accused neighboring India of orchestrating last year’s car bombing in Lahore, near the residence of a militant leader suspected of orchestrating deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

Rana Sanaullah Khan said at a news conference that several Pakistani suspects had been arrested, prosecuted and convicted by Pakistani courts in recent months over their links to the June 2021 bombing, which killed three people. The explosion went off near the home of Hafiz Saeed, who is the founder of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

The interior minister said Pakistan, with the help of INTERPOL, will seek the arrest of Indian intelligence operatives they suspect of being behind the attack near Saeed’s home. Saeed, a Pakistani, is serving a jail term in Pakistan on charges of financing anti-India militants. He said Pakistan had solid evidence about India’s role in the bombing.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry couldn’t be reached for comment.

Saeed had been designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department after the 2008 bombing and has a $10 million bounty on his head. Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba was active for years mainly in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India and is claimed by both in its entirety.

In the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir, rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

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