Dawood Living Near Pak-Afghan Border: Indian Home Minister

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Dawood would often be seen waving the Indian national flag from the VIP lounge in the pavilion where he had a special enclosure before he fell from grace with his Indian patrons. — AFP file
Dawood would often be seen waving the Indian national flag from the VIP lounge in the pavilion where he had a special enclosure before he fell from grace with his Indian patrons. — AFP file

RAJNATH SAYS TERRORISM IN INDIA IS FULLY SPONSORED BY PAKISTAN; SAYS DELHI WANTS FRIENDLY TIES WITH ALL NEIGHBORS

NEW DELHI — Ahead of next week’s Saarc summit in Kathmandu where much of the world wants Indian and Pakistani leaders to resume their stalled talks, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh chose to blame Pakis­tan on Saturday for a clutch of India’s cross-border headaches including terrorism, Dawn reported.

“Terrorism in India is not home grown, but is externally aided… It is from Pakistan,” Mr Singh told the Hindustan Times leadership Summit here.

Press Trust of India quoted him as saying that Pakistan is providing shelter also to India’s underworld fugitive Dawood Ibrahim who he claimed is currently staying along the Pak-Afghan border.

Though India wants to maintain cordial relations with Pakistan, Islamabad seems not too keen on establishing friendly relations with New Delhi, Mr Singh said though he hinted vaguely at the possibility of a breakthrough.

“Terrorism in India is fully Pakistan-sponsored. Pakis­tan says non-state actors are involved. But is ISI non-state actor? ISI is aiding terrorism,” Mr Singh said. The routine accusation is just as routinely denied by Pakistan.

Listing Pakistan’s acts of omission and commission, Mr Singh said it is not taking initiative to punish those involved in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as the case in that country was moving at a very slow pace. “Pakistan is not helping in the judicial process. In fact it is trying to scuttle it,” he said.

According to the minister, Dawood has been living in Pakistan and des­pite many requests, the neighbouring country has not handed him over to India. “When the Pakistan premier came to India, our prime minister told him to hand over Dawood. We are pursuing it. We are trying to build diplomatic pressure… As he is the most wanted cri­minal… Right now he is along Pak-Afghan border,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Asked whether India would carry out a “hot pursuit” to nab Dawood, Mr Singh said: “Give us time. Strategy cannot be divulged. There is no timeframe. But we are trying so that Pakistan hands over Dawood as early as possible. Diplomatic pressure is building up.”

On whether India will make efforts to have dialogue with Pakistan, the minister said New Delhi wants friendly ties with not only Pakistan but with all the neighboring countries as well as others nations across the world.”

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