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Rajnath Singh to raise issue of Pakistan’s support to terror in SAARC meet


Pakistan’s sustained support to cross-border terrorism will be raised by Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to Islamabad to attend the SAARC ministerial conference beginning August 3. Singh, who will attend the SAARC Home Interior/Home Ministers’ conference, is expected to bluntly ask Pakistan to stop sponsoring acts of terror in India, official sources said.

This will be the first visit to Pakistan by any senior Indian leader after the Pathankot attack on January 2, which created tension between the two countries.

The Home Minister may provide documentary proof of the involvement of Pakistan’s state and non-state actors in terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts during separate meetings he is likely to have with his counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Describing Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in Kashmir as “martyr”, Sharif had recently said that “Kashmir will one day become Pakistan”, prompting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to say that his dream of the state becoming a part of his country “will not be realised even at the end of eternity”.

Singh will also raise the issue of slow pace of probe into terror attack in the Pathankot airbase, which was carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, and the the trial into the Mumbai terror attack case in that country, sources said. Singh will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and several other senior officers of the Home Ministry.

Key issues like fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and small arms and how to make coordinated and concerted efforts to combat such menace will figure in the SAARC meet.

The three-tier meeting will begin at the joint secretary- level and then move on to Secretary and Home Minister-level meetings. The meeting will also focus on strengthening networking among police authorities of SAARC member-countries and also enhance information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.

The last meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference was held in Kathmandu in 2014 when the Home Minister had said that member-nations of the group were facing common challenges and they should cooperate with each other to address them.

The Home Minister had also voiced concern over the new threats of terrorism and violence to South Asia and asked SAARC countries to chalk out strategies to check radical groups and extremist ideologies.


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