Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that Pakistan should close down what he termed a “factory of terrorism” while offering New Delhi’s help to Islamabad in fighting terrorists.
Speaking at a regional editors’ conference in Chandigarh, Singh said India’s problems stem from Pakistan’s continuous support of “terrorist activities” and that “India does not harbour any ill-will against the people of Pakistan”.
“That is the reason it has been isolated not only in South Asia but also in the world. India is ready to help Pakistan in taking action against terrorists in Pakistan. But for that Islamabad should close down ‘factory of terrorism’. This will open vistas of development and help in ensuring peace in South Asia,” Singh said.
“If its intentions remain clear, India can help Pakistan carry out an anti-terror campaign, including (in Azad Kashmir). If Pakistan wishes it can seek our help and India is ready to help it… But its intentions are not clear,” Singh added.
The minister reiterated that his government had decided to seal the border with Pakistan with physical and non-physical barriers by December 2018. “This is time bound, it will be done by December 2018. We are readying an action plan for that,” Singh said after a meeting with the chief and home ministers of Indian-held Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat which border Pakistan earlier this month.
“A border security grid will be in place soon,” he said, adding that the Indian government was also “looking at technological solutions to man the border.”
“Pakistan’s entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and that’s why the management of areas along the Indo-Pak border has become a challenging task… But those who rear snakes should know they would bite them,” he said. “This country shelters not just terrorists, It nurtures a mindset… that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains.”
However, China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan’s defence on Monday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a ‘mother-ship of terrorism’ at a summit of BRICS nations. Beijing’s unequivocal support came as the Modi administration drew the opposition’s flak at home for its failure to muster the support of BRICS nations against Pakistan at the recent summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in Goa.
The Indian leader’s invective escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which New Delhi accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism. Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been running high since a Sept 18 attack on an army base in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) killed 19 Indian soldiers in the worst such assault in 14 years. New Delhi blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group for the attack, though it does not have any evidence to substantiate its claim.