Taliban spreading its tentacles in India, says Pakistan's Interior Minister

Interpol on Thursday confirmed fears of a possible terror attack on the ongoing cricket World Cup matches. Briefing journalists here, the secretary general of the international police organisation, Ronald K. Noble said Interpol identified, located and arrested a terrorist with the help of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives last week.

“Thanks to the cooperation of your country and other countries, we were able to make sure that the World Cup remains safe,'' Mr. Noble said, but did not reveal the nationality of the arrested terrorist. All he said was that the man was arrested on his way from Karachi.

Details shared

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik disclosed that the terrorist was not a Pakistani; adding that all details had been shared with India. Further, according to him, there was information to suggest that the Taliban was spreading its tentacles in India. Again, this had been brought to the notice of Indian authorities, he said.

While no mention of this was made at the joint press conference by Mr. Malik and Mr. Noble, a press release issued by Interpol on March 10 said a Maldives national wanted in connection with a 2007 terror bombing attack was arrested after his passport triggered an Interpol alarm as he travelled from Pakistan to the Maldives via Sri Lanka.

“Iqbal Mohamed, the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for internationally wanted persons issued at the request of the Maldives National Central Bureau, was identified by Interpol's Major Events Support Team deployed to Sri Lanka for the Cricket World Cup during a routine check of Colombo airport passenger manifests.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office said Pakistan had been assured by the Indian government that all measures had been taken to secure the World Cup matches in India; particularly the fixtures in which the Pakistani team was playing given the threats made against the team by certain organisations.

“Pakistan's High Commissioner in India has been in touch with the Indian government and we have been assured of the team's security,'' Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said, adding that when a country hosts such a big event, it takes responsibility for the security.

Home Secretary-level talks

About the upcoming Home Secretary-level talks in New Delhi next week, Ms. Janjua said Pakistan would approach the meeting with an “open mind and constructive spirit.” Stating that dialogue is the only way forward, she said this dialogue must be “uninterrupted and uninterruptable.”

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