Three persons were killed and 24 others injured when the powerful car bomb exploded outside Hafiz Saeed's residence

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government on Sunday blamed India’s external spy agency for a recent explosion at Lahore in Pakistan – signalling that the back-channel talks that had over the past few months fuelled speculation about a resumption of talks between the two nations once again ended in failure.

The explosion near the house of the founder of the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, on June 23 killed three persons and injured 24 others.

Saeed is designated by the United Nations Security Council as a terrorist linked to Taliban and Al Qaeda. New Delhi believes that he was the mastermind of the November 26-28, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan alleged on Twitter that an investigation into the June 23 explosion at Johar Town in Lahore revealed that it was planned and financed by India. He called upon the “global community” to “mobilize international institutions” against India’s “rogue behaviour” against Pakistan.

Sources in New Delhi dismissed Khan Government's allegation as baseless and a repeat of the propaganda Pakistan often ran against India.

Khan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf later held a news conference in Islamabad, claiming that Pakistan’s civil and military agencies had identified the ‘mastermind’ of the bomb blast and he worked for the Research and Analytical Wing (RAW) of India.

He also said that the RAW had engaged Eid Gul, who originally hailed from Afghanistan, but was living in Pakistan, to carry out the explosion. Peter David Paul, who had moved to Pakistan from Bahrain in 2010, had also been involved in the attack. Gul and Paul had been arrested, Yusuf and Inam Ghani, police chief of Punjab province of Pakistan, said.

Islamabad apparently sought to turn the table on New Delhi, even as India’s security agencies suspected the role of the terrorists based in Pakistan in orchestrating the recent drone attack on the Indian Air Force station in Jammu.

New Delhi recently also asked Khan’s Government in Islamabad to take credible, verifiable and irreversible action against terrorist networks and proxies operating from its soil and bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai as well as the January 2016 attacks on the IAF base at Pathankot in Punjab.

The Indian Army and the Pakistan Army on February 25 agreed to stop firing at each other across the Line of Control (LoC) and strictly adhere to the 2003 ceasefire agreement – fuelling speculation about the possibility of resumption of the bilateral dialogue, which remained suspended since 2013.

India and Pakistan also had back-channel talks for restarting the stalled dialogue, with the top brass of the intelligence agencies of the two nations holding several rounds of informal talks in the United Arab Emirates over the past few months.

New Delhi, however, never officially confirmed or denied the reports about its back-channel talks with Islamabad.

What however stalled the process is Khan’s public stand that Pakistan could restart formal talks with India only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi would roll back its August 5, 2019 move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and to reorganise the state into two Union Territories.

New Delhi strongly rejected Khan Government’s demand, underlining that the decision on J&K was an internal affair of India and endorsed by the Parliament of India.