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Act against terrorists like Hafiz Saeed if serious about talks, India tells Pakistan

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New Delhi: India has asked Pakistan to back up its demands for dialogue by following it up with concrete action such as taking action against designated terrorists and terror organisations and not make an attempt ‘to politically mainstream them’.

‘If Pakistan is serious about having a dialogue with India, then it should prove it by actions,’ Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said during a media interaction here Thursday.
‘The practice of providing explicit support to terrorists and terror outfits is continuing there. Not just that, what is even more concerning is that there is an attempt to bring them into the mainstream,’ he added.

The MEA spokesperson was referring to a recent televised interview of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, where he said that while Islamabad is ready for a dialogue with India, New Delhi was ignoring it.

Kumar, however, said that Pakistan was ‘not serious’ about a dialogue. ‘They are doing this to deflect the attention of the world from their own financial woes by giving out statements on other countries,’ he said.

He also raised the issue of Pakistan not taking any stringent action against the perpetrators of the Pathankot and Mumbai terror attacks.

‘If Pakistan is so keen on talking to India then why are the terrorists behind the Pathankot and Mumbai terror attacks roaming freely in Pakistan?’ he asked. ‘Why has no action been taken against them?’

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‘Pak ministers sharing stage with terrorists’

India also questioned the increasing incidents of Pakistani political leaders sharing public platforms with banned terrorists and terror outfits.

The MEA spokesperson highlighted two incidents in which he said that Pakistan’s Interior Minister of State and the Minister for Religious Faith and Harmony had shared platform with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and other leaders of the organisation.

JuD is a UN-designated terrorist organisation. Saeed is also the co-founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Kumar further said that during one such event last September, attended by Minister for Religious Faith and Inter-Faith Harmony of Pakistan, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Saeed and the minister made ‘vitriolic and anti-India’ statements.

On the issue of Pakistan blaming India for mistreating the minorities, Kumar said that Pakistan should be the last country to lecture ‘us on plurality and inclusive society’.

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