Indian home minister Rajnath Singh will be travelling to Pakistan as per schedule, sources at the ministry of external affairs said today. This is despite Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed's warning of a countrywide protest by his outfit.
Singh is scheduled to visit Pakistan on August 3, to attend a SAARC ministerial conference.
Accusing Singh of being "responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris", JuD chief Hafiz Saeed has warned of a countrywide protest in Pakistan if the Indian minister travels to the country. Sources, however, said, "The visit is on track. India attains highest priority to SAARC. The visit is strictly to abide by our SAARC commitments." They also said that the host country (Pakistan) is responsible for the home minister's security.
The alleged mastermind of the 2008 terror attack in western city of Mumbai in a statement said, "If Singh comes to Islamabad on August 3, the JuD would hold countrywide protest to tell the world that the Pakistani rulers might have compulsions to receive Kashmiris' killers, but the people of Pakistan are siding with oppressed Kashmiris."
"I want to ask the Pakistani government will it add insult to injury to the wounds of Kashmiris by welcoming Rajnath who is responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris," he said. "It will be ironical, as on the one hand the whole Pakistani nation is protesting against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir, and on the other hand the Pakistani rulers will be garlanding Singh," said the statement .
External affairs ministry has also made it clear that there will be no bilateral meeting between Singh and Pakistani leaders during his visit on August 3 and 4.
India and Pakistan are witnessing growing bitterness after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani's killing on July 8.
Not only did Sharif praise Wani but he also remarked that "Kashmir will one day become Pakistan", a comment which evoked a sharp reaction from External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his dream of the state becoming a part of his country "will not be realised even at the end of eternity".
Further needling India, Pakistan has demanded an independent inquiry into the "extrajudicial" killing of Wani, and claimed that the denial of "plebiscite" to Kashmiri people was behind the flare-up in the Valley.