External Affairs

As Hafiz Saeed Threatens Violence, India Says Pakistan Must Rein Him In

New Delhi: India on Thursday asked Pakistan to “rein in” Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and internationally-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed after voicing “grave concern” over his activities in that country, a day after the Mumbai terror attack mastermind warned of more Pathankot-style attacks.

“Hafiz Saeed is a globally-designated international terrorist. His claim that his many front organisations are carrying out charitable work is not even a fig leaf. He indulges in terrorist activities and terrorist financing. It should be a matter of grave concern to everyone that a terrorist like Saeed and his associates continues to enjoy the freedom to indulge in their activities (in Pakistan),” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Addressing a rally yesterday, Saeed had said,”800,000 Indian troops are committing genocide on Kashmiris. Don’t they have a right to carry out Pathankot-style attacks for their defence?…You have only seen one attack on Pathankot. Matters could easily escalate.

Asserting that it was “up to Pakistan to rein in Saeed”, the spokesperson also noted that Pakistan had imposed a ban last year on the media coverage of militant groups like the JuD and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba but contrary to that ban, the electronic media was still showing Saeed’s speeches.

Asked about the status of Indo-Pak foreign secretary- level talks, Swarup continued to maintain that no “mutually convenient” date has been agreed upon between the two countries.

The national security advisors of India and Pakistan as well as the foreign secretaries are in touch with each other, he said, adding that while the NSAs have been discussing the Pathankot terror attack investigation by Pakistan government, the two foreign secretaries are in touch on the dates issue.

Asked about the progress on the Pathankot probe by Pakistan and if that country has sought any fresh evidence, the spokesperson did not give a direct answer and said the government was also looking at what action was being taken to bring the perpetrators of that attack to justice.

PTI adds from Islamabad

Pakistan today said that it is in touch with India on finalising dates for the postponed foreign secretary-level talks.

“Both sides are in touch regarding the date of foreign secretary-level talks. We will let you know when it is finalised,” foreign office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said today during his weekly briefing.

The agenda of the talks will be discussed after dates for the FS-level talks are finalised, he said.

India and Pakistan last month mutually agreed to a short deferment of the talks after the Pathankot terror attack.

Talking about the visa controversy relating to actor Anupam Kher, he said the Pakistani high commissioner in India spoke to the actor and offered him a visa to attend the literature festival to which he was invited.

“However, Kher replied that he would not be able to visit Pakistan due to other commitments,” the spokesman said.

Responding to a question, Khalilullah said the dossiers on India’s alleged involvement in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan have already been shared with the US and the UN.

To another query, he said that questions about Dawood Ibrahim have been asked several times in the past and reiterated Pakistan’s position that he was not present in the country.

“You may be aware that Indian authorities have admitted at the ministerial level that Dawood Ibrahim’s whereabouts were not known to them,” he said.

Ahead of the ‘solidarity day’ being observed in Pakistan on Kashmir, Khalilullah said, “India continues to violate the human rights of and brutalise Kashmiris in the occupied Kashmir. Pakistan has always condemned these atrocities.”

“Kashmir Solidarity Day, to be observed tomorrow, reminds us of the Indian atrocities and the need for Kashmir dispute to be resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” he said.

Khalilullah also said the meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group on Afghanistan talks was scheduled for February 6 and will be held in Islamabad as planned.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan were in touch at various levels regarding the use of Afghan soil by certain elements involved in the terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University.

The spokesman said that Pakistan does not differentiate between good and bad terrorists and it was at the heart of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants.