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Terrorism in India is sponsored by Pakistan: Rajnath Singh

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By EMN Updated: Nov 22, 2014 11:14 pm
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Agencies
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 22

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ome Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday India was open to dialogue with Pakistan but Islamabad should take the first step to resume talks between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The home minister’s comments came ahead of next week’s Saarc summit in Nepal which both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, will attend. No bilateral talks are planned at the Saarc meeting but the two leaders are bound to come face-to-face at the summit.
“If not today then tomorrow, one side will have to take the first step … We have always spoken of friendship but they should take some friendly action,” Singh said at the 12th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.Singh also hit out at Pakistan, saying terror in India wasn’t homegrown but sponsored by Pakistan and rejecting Islamabad’s stand that it was non-state actors – not state actors – that indulged in terrorism.
“I want to ask Pakistan: ‘Is ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) also a non-state actor’,” he said, before going on to link ISI with supporting terrorists from Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused.
“Who helped Osama bin Laden? Who is helping Hafiz Saeed? … We have requested Pakistan to act against them (Mumbai attack mastermind) but they drag their feet,” he said. “So we say that terrorism is completely Pakistan-sponsored.”
But Singh sounded confident India would be able to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to hand over Dawood Ibrahim, who he described as a “most-wanted criminal”.
Tensions have been running high between the South Asian rivals since India called off planned talks with Pakistan this August after the Pakistani envoy met Hurriyat leaders in Delhi, saying Islamabad should choose between dialogue and hobnobbing with Kashmiri separatists. Pakistan’s stand has not changed since with Sharif saying this week that Islamabad will always consult the Hurriyat conference before talks with New Delhi.
Last month, the neighbours were locked in their worst border conflict in a decade, which left dozens of civilians dead and forced thousands of people to leave their homes.
Singh pointed out how India’s tough stance during the recent border conflict had paid dividend. When Pakistan did not stop ceasefire violations despite the BSF showing white flags 16 times, Singh told the forces to hit back hard. “As you saw, Pakistan had to go to the UN to say that you intervene, you intervene. In other words, raised a hue and cry”.
Pledging to “leave no stone unturned” to provide security to all its citizens irrespective of caste, creed and religion, Singh said the government had drawn up a strategy to counter attempts by international terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda to expand their foot-print to Asia and the use of social media by insurgent organizations such as ISIS to radicalise the youth.
“There are many challenges to India’s security,” the home minister said.
He also promised to plug holes in India’s security along the borders with help from the Israelis and encourage insurgents and Maoists to come for talks without weapons.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 22, 2014 11:14:56 pm