Pakistan trying to deflect attention from financial crisis by mainstreaming terrorists: MEA

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Photograph:( ANI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 11, 2019, 05.41 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

India has hit out at Pakistan on its continued support to terror and said Islamabad is "trying to deflect the attention of the financial crisis by mainstreaming terrorists." 

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in a weekly media briefing, asked, "Why is Pakistan allowing safe haven to a terrorist group?" and questioned the lack of seriousness by Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators of Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks. 

Kumar added, "If Pakistan is ready for dialogue, why hasn't Pakistan taken any action against Mumbai and Pathankot terror attack perpetrators? They continue to provide support to the banned terrorist outfits."

On India-Pak talks, Kumar said, "no seriousness in Pakistan saying it wants dialogue and it (Pakistan) has to back up it up with action."

MEA spokesperson gave examples of how Pak ministers have been sharing the stage with terrorists like Hafiz Saeed. In September 2018, Noor-Ul-Haq Qadri, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony and member of Imran Khan's government shared the stage with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed. 

In December, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi vowed to protect Hafiz Saeed "as long as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in the government." A prominent leader from PTI also opened Hafiz Saeed's Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) centres in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

JuD is no longer on the list of banned terrorist groups with the lapse of the ordinance under which they were put on the list earlier.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first interview of 2019 said New Delhi is open to dialogue with Islamabad but "amid the noise of bombs and guns, the dialogue cannot be heard." Last year, on the 10th anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, New Delhi had called on Pakistan to give up "double standards and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice."

The MEA also slammed Pakistan on the issue of raising the so-called bad situation of minorities in India. Raveesh noted, "Pakistan said minorities are not treated well in India, I think Pakistan should be the last country to lecture us on plurality and inclusive society. We and the world are fully aware of the situation of minorities in their country."

Last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said, "We will show the Modi government how to treat minorities." On the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, Khan tweeted, "Naya Pak is Quaid's Pak and we will ensure that our minorities are treated as equal citizens, unlike what is happening in India."