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Pakistan dismisses ‘terror’ boat issue raised by India as ‘very silly allegation’

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday dismissed as a “very silly allegation” India’s assertions that the boat which exploded off the Gujarat coast belonged to it.

Pakistan said the ‘terror’ boat issue raised by India was a ‘very silly allegation’.

“I think this is a very silly allegation. We have checked with our authorities, no boats from Pakistan left,” Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

“We saw the boat burn, it did not blow up. There have been various contradictory claims,” she told an Indian TV channel.

Amid questions over the ‘boat’ operation, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said in New Delhi that “circumstantial evidence” indicated that the occupants of the vessel were “suspected or possible terrorists” and that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials and army.

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He dismissed the contention that the four people on board the boat, which “exploded” and sank in the Arabian Sea in the intervening night of 31 December and 1 January during an Indian Coast Guard operation, were smugglers.