Rajnath’s Pak Visit on Track Despite Threats From Terror Outfits

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin had threatened to stop Rajnath Singh’s visit to Pakistan.

3 min read
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with BSF personnel at a Border Out Post. (Photo: PTI) 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high level meeting on Monday, ahead of his visit to Pakistan for SAARC meet. Home Secretary, National Security Agency, Intelligence Bureau and RAW Chief were present in the meeting.

Rajnath Singh decided to not change his travel plans to the SAARC in spite of the threat by chief of the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen at a rally in Lahore, Foreign Ministry sources said.

In a rally on Sunday, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin threatened to stop Mr Singh’s visit. He accused him of “deploying soldiers in Kashmir to shed the blood of innocents.”

“The host country is responsible for the home minister’s security,” top Foreign Ministry sources said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will attend the interior and home ministers’ conference of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, to be held in Pakistan on 3 and 4 August.

The Home Minister’s visit comes amid tension between the two countries after the killing of Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander.

Singh 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 2 January, 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.

Hafiz Saeed Warns of Nationwide Protest

Accusing Rajnath Singh of being “responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris,” Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has warned of a countrywide protest in Pakistan by his outfit if Rajnath Singh arrives in Islamabad.

“I want to ask the Pakistani government: will it add insult to injury to the wounds of Kashmiris by welcoming Rajnath who is responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris,” he said in a statement.

The mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack said:

If Singh comes to Islamabad on August 3, the JuD would hold countrywide protest to tell the world that the Pakistani rulers might have compulsions to receive Kashmiris’ killers but the people of Pakistan are siding with oppressed Kashmiris.

Singh’s Visit on Track Despite Threats from Hizbul Chief

Downplaying LeT founder Hafiz Saeed’s threat, the government said on Monday that Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Pakistan this week to attend the SAARC Home Ministers’ conference as scheduled.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju (Photo: PTI)
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju (Photo: PTI)
The SAARC meeting is a multilateral meeting. There are some commitments. He is not going to give some message or having a separate meeting with (the) Pakistani Home Minister.
Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home

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 trial in the Mumbai terror attack case in that country, sources said.

The three-tier meeting will also focus on strengthening networking among police authorities of SAARC member-countries and also enhance information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.

(With PTI inputs.)

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