Almost all major Pakistani newspapers questioned the timing of the latest terrorist attack on Kashmir Army men, suggesting the Uri incident could be India-staged drama as it coincided with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif heading to the UN General Assembly to talk about 'India-held Kashmir'. The newspapers slammed India's "jumping the gun" to blame Pakistan for the attack "without the slightest proof".
Basically, the media outlets blamed India for the attack, at the same time carrying front page rebuttals by Pakistan officials on their supposed role in the killing.
This is how the front pages of Pakistani newspapers looked like, with excerpts from inside-page editorials.
The short headline of the lead report of Pakistani newspaper Dawn said, 'Rajnath launches vitriolic assault on Pakistan', suggesting that India is using the incident to attack Pakistan.
Dawn called the attack a "raid" by some "gunmen".
"Gunmen hurling grenades killed 17 soldiers in a raid on an army base in India-held Kashmir on Sunday, with New Delhi blaming Pakistan-based militants for the worst such attack in the disputed region for over a decade," said the report.
Its editorial accused India's "immediate accusations against Pakistan" for destablising Indo-Pak relations. It said,
"In a highly volatile environment - Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had a fractious visit to Islamabad, in early August, has publicly called Pakistan a "terrorist state".
"Irrespective of what the Indian government thinks Pakistan had done or is doing, the Kashmir issue is rooted in a people's genuine rejection of control by the state of India."
- The News International
"Four heavily-armed militants said to be “foreigners” sneaked into an Indian Army camp near the Line of Control (LoC) in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) on Sunday" - thelead report said.
A front page report titled 'Pathankot-like Indian false flag operation' suggested a major conspiracy theory - "It is said that from this false flag operation, India wants to achieve more than one targets, including accusing Pakistan of backing terrorism, diverting the world attention from the killings by its forces in occupied Kashmir, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address at the UN General Assembly session and creating hatred between the Sikh and Muslim communities in Indian-held Kashmir."
Another editorial said,
"Assisted by its crafty media, the Indian political and security establishment is notorious for designing bizarre pseudo operations so that it could defame Pakistan in the eyes of the world, muster international support and to cover up its intelligence failures, but on most occasions over the years, even the internal investigative reports have mocked New Delhi’s claims in this context."
- The Express Tribune
Its front page report termed India's response of blaming Pakistan a "knee-jerk reaction."
Almost blaming India for it, the report quoted Pakistan Defence Minister Khawja Asif’s tweet that said: “Don’t rule out inside job to malign Azadi movement by blaming Pakistan.”
The report also quoted an unnamed official who "questioned the timing of the attack, saying that it appeared to be aimed at diverting attention from grave human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir just ahead of the start of a UN General Assembly session in New York."
- The Nation
Curiously, The Nation began its report with Pakistan's rebuttal of the Indian government's statement.
"Pakistan yesterday rebuked India’s reckless reaction over the Uri attack in Occupied Kashmir where gunmen killed at least 17 Indian soldiers. The attack occurred when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif prepared to take up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly in its 71st session that begins in New York today (September 19)" - this is how the lead report started.
Its editorial said the attack might affect Pakistan's taking up of the Kashmir issue internationally.
"Regardless of this untimely attack, Pakistan is prepared to highlight the current situation in India-held Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, but the accusations will make the task harder."
"Pakistan will continue to be a voice for the Kashmiri people as Kashmir braces itself for another crackdown from the Modi government. One can only hope that the international community will listen to their plea before it is too late."