India Summons Pakistani Envoy

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Despite knowing the fact that Pakistan will never take action against its home-grown terrorists, India handed over the content of GPS recovered from the bodies of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants to Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit as an evidence of involvement of the Pakistan-based outfit in the recent terror attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir’s Uri District.

Indian Foreign Secretary Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar summoned Basit on Wednesday and told him that the latest terror attack in the Indian territory only underlines that the infrastructure of terrorism is very much active in his country. He told the Pak envoy: “If the government of Pakistan wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks, India is ready to provide fingerprints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents.”

Jaishankar further asked Basit to tell the Nawaz Sharif government to stop supporting and sponsoring terrorism against India. During their meeting, the foreign secretary said it is unfortunate that Islamabad is still backing terror outfits even after making a solemn commitment in January 2004 to not allow its soil to be used for terrorism against India. “The persistent and growing violation of this undertaking is a matter of very serious concern,” added the foreign secretary.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that a number of items, including communication matrix sheets and equipment, and Pakistan-made stuff (such as food, medicines and clothes) were shown to Basit. Those were recovered from bags belonged to the slain militants. “We now expect a response from the government of Pakistan,” Jaishankar told the envoy.

Meanwhile, Pakistan rejected the US’ advice to restrict its nuclear programmes. US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday to limit his country’s atomic programme, as they met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Sharif told the state secretary that Pakistan would follow his advice only if India agreed to do the same.

Speaking at a press conference, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the world body Maleeha Lodhi said: “The world should first put an end to nuclear activities undertaken by India.” Pak Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, who was also present at the press conference, tried to divert global attention from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, saying: “No other state had acted against terrorism as much as Pakistan had.”

Interestingly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did not mention the Kashmir issue in his opening statement at the UNGA, despite Pakistan’s repeated requests to intervene in Jammu & Kashmir. On Tuesday, the UN chief expressed serious concern over the current political situation in Syria and West Asia, but made no comment on ‘India-Pakistan’ or ‘Kashmir’ issue.

Addressing the UNGA in New York on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sharif blamed India for imposing “unacceptable” conditions, saying that his country was ready to talk to New Delhi. “Pakistan wants peace with India. We have gone the extra mile and repeatedly offered dialogue. India has imposed unacceptable conditions,” he stressed in a 20-minute speech.

Responding to PM Sharif’s claim that Pakistan has “gone the extra mile and repeatedly offered dialogue”, Junior External Affairs Minister of India M J Akbar said: “We haven’t seen the first mile, where is the question of the extra mile? Pakistan wants dialogue while holding a gun in its hand. Talks and guns don’t go together.”

Just before the Pak PM addressed the UNGA, two American lawmakers introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. While introducing the bill on Wednesday, Republican Ted Poe and Democrat Dana Rohrabacher told the House: “It is time we stopped paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism. Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the US for years.”

Poe, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, further said: “From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s.”

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