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MEA terms Pak. ‘prime perpetrator’ of terror

Vikas Swarup  

Continuing the war of words with Pakistan, India on Friday said the South Asian region is “acutely” aware of Islamabad’s sponsorship of cross border terror. The comments from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came even as it confirmed that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has written to his Pakistan counterpart for talks, terming Pakistan the “prime perpetrator” of terrorism.

“In his letter dated August 24, Foreign Secretary has conveyed that the Government of India seeks result-oriented dialogue on the subject. As Pakistan is aware the intended outcome at issue is the early vacation of Pakistan of its illegal occupation (of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir),” said Vikas Swarup, MEA spokesperson, and added, “As far as terrorism is concerned, not just India but the region is acutely aware that Pakistan is actually a prime perpetrator.”

The Hindu had reported on Friday that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had written a tough letter to his counterpart in Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry highlighting the regional ramification of Pakistan’s pursuit of terror.

However, Pakistan on Friday reached out to the international community seeking mediation on Kashmir and said India did not respond to its proposal for holding talks on Kashmir. “The Adviser regretted the refusal from the Indian side in response to Pakistan’s proposal for talks on Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan stated, after Sartaj Aziz, Adviser on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Prime Minister, briefed western diplomats.

The exchange of words continued even as Pakistan announced that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited the member states of the SAARC to participate in the November 9-10 SAARC summit in Islamabad.

The announcement came amidst gloomy prospects for the regional grouping as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not attend the SAARC Finance Minister-level meeting which took place in Islamabad on Friday.

However when asked if India’s hardening stance on Pakistan might undermine the preparation for the SAARC summit in Islamabad, the MEA spokesperson said Pakistan should not be in denial. “Pakistan should not make distinction about good terrorists and bad terrorists and stop being in denial of its policies that promote terrorism. India continues to maintain that it is incumbent upon Pakistan to extradite Dawood Ibrahim and we hope that Pakistan will heed the opinion of the international community on this issue,” Mr Swarup said, indicating that such issues that were “strategic” in nature might also feature in the August 30 Strategic Dialogue with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Sources hinted that India might aggressively pursue the issue of PoK at the January 7-9, 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas where some participants from PoK are likely to participate.

“Our policy on such issues will depend on Pakistan’s behaviour and what track Pakistan will take in bilateral ties in the coming days,” the source said.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:45:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/MEA-terms-Pak.-%E2%80%98prime-perpetrator%E2%80%99-of-terror/article14591387.ece

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