–Says it’s not in Pakistan’s interest to allow use of its territory for terror activities abroad
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that after receiving a bad response on his offer of imitating a dialogue with India, he had decided to wait until the elections in the neighbouring country “for a gesture from their side”, NDTV reported on Thursday.
He said this while interacting with Indian journalists at PM Office in Islamabad. When asked about India’s ‘most wanted’ terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, he said that it is not possible to live in the past, adding that Pakistan too has a list of people who are wanted in India and it is not in the best interest of Pakistan to allow the use of its territory for carrying out terrorist activities abroad.
Dawood Ibrahim masterminded the 1993 blasts in which 12 bombs went off at different locations across Mumbai, killing 257 and leaving over 700 injured. Listed as a global terrorist by a committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Dawood Ibrahim continues to evade arrest. India alleges that Pakistan has been sheltering Ibrahim.
Speaking about Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who has been accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai attacks, he said, “There are United Nations (UN) sanctions against him. There is already a clampdown on him. These are the issues we have inherited.” Saeed was put under house arrest after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks but was freed by a court in Pakistan in 2009. He carries a reward of $10 million, announced by the US for his role in terror activities.
PM Khan also explained why he was pitching aggressively for talks with India. “After the parliament attack, I saw the two armies come face to face with each other. After the Mumbai attacks, it all went back to square one. I have been wishing for peace since then,” he said.
On Wednesday, during the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, he said that the government and the army want a civilised relationship with India, adding that a long-pending Kashmir dispute can only be resolved through talks and a healthy respect for humanity. It is worth noting that New Delhi had objected to his reference of Kashmir.
“I made an offer after taking the oath of office but I got a bad response over it,” he told the journalists, referring to the cancellation of meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September.
“It appears that they have no intentions of peace. We will now wait until elections for talks,” he added.
Earlier this week, Pakistan extended an offer to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the SAARC summit in the country but the offer was rejected by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj who said that there will be no talks between the two countries until “Pakistan stops sponsoring terrorism”.
The 2016 SAARC summit, scheduled to be held in Pakistan, was cancelled after India refused to attend, citing concerns over continued cross-border terrorism. Later, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also dropped out.