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'Pak. should act against Hafiz Saeed'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during an interview in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: S. Subramanium

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during an interview in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: S. Subramanium  

Pakistan must curb Hafiz Saeed, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his first remarks about the U.N.-designated global terrorist’s public rallies.

“It is very important that the Pakistan government takes necessary and corrective measures in accordance with the U.N. Security Council’s counter-terrorism policies,” Mr. Ban told The Hindu in an exclusive interview during his visit to New Delhi.

Mr. Ban’s comments came in response to a question whether Saeed’s rally at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan in December constituted a violation of the U.N. mandate by the Pakistan’s government.

“I was shocked when the Mumbai terror attacks took place and we all expected that all these terrorists would be put to justice,” Mr. Ban said.

“I sincerely hope that the Indian and Pakistani government authorities discuss this matter that all the perpetrators should be punished as terrorists, brought to trial. It is important not to allow room for terrorists, radical groups, armed groups to take such chances with the lapse of the justice system.”

In a lengthy interview, Mr. Ban spoke on several subjects. He hoped India would “lead negotiations” to bring about a climate change agreement at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris this year.

“The U.N. for 2015 has made sustainable development and the adoption of a climate change agreement in December this year its two top priorities.”

Calling India a “critically important member state of the U.N. by any standard,” Mr. Ban said consensus must be built so that the U.N. could discuss changing the Security Council, a move that would enable India to realise its dream of a seat at the ‘high table.’

“The General Assembly has taken this up informally and I have urged it to accelerate the process, so that the Security Council can be better equipped to address all the changing peace and security issues,” he said.

In a strong statement, Mr. Ban demanded that the Indian government repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal code that criminalises homosexuality.

Calling it a “matter of human rights,” Mr. Ban disclosed that he had been taking up the issue constantly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. “The Indian Penal Code should decriminalise homosexuality.”

Mr. Ban’s comments are significant as it was the ruling BJP (then in the Opposition) that had backed the Supreme Court’s decision in support of Section 377 in 2013. At the time, BJP president Rajnath Singh had called homosexuality “an unnatural act.”

(The full interview is > available here)

Interview with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, by Suhasini Haidar for The Hindu and CNN-IBN

Video by S. Subramanium

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 11:21:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-should-act-against-hafiz-saeed-ban-kimoon/article6785838.ece

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