Pak ready for peace talks: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar

Apparently miffed over the treatment he received in Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said India has always tried to be friendly with its reluctant western neighbhour but “yeh padosi hai ki maanta nahin”.

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Rajnath Singh called for “strongest action not only against terrorists or organisations but also against those individuals, organisations and nations which support terrorism”.

In Rajya Sabha, members cutting across party-lines supported the government in its fight against terrorism. Only then justice will be ensured for the victims of terrorist attacks such as in Mumbai and Pathankot. “We must have the approach of “zero tolerance” against any type of terrorism”.

Addressing concerns regarding Singh’s security in Kashmir, Pakistan had said that his security is the responsibility of the host country. Talking about South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Nisar briefed media and said that the conference was held in a peaceful and better environment. I am sure all the members of this august house would agree with me that the biggest challenge to the peace and prosperity of South Asia is terrorism.

According to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the Pakistani interior minister said that “using torture against innocent children and violence against civilians qualifies as terrorism”.

Nisar at one point outrightly said that there is a difference between terrorism and struggle for freedom probably referring to the uprising in Kashmir.

“But at the same time, they must target all militant groups including those that target Pakistan’s neighbours, and they must also close all safe havens”, said the spokesman. He agreed to the fact that Rajnath did not mention Pakistan in his speech, but whatever he had been saying was directly or indirectly related to Pakistan, he added. “The success proves that Pakistan is committed towards wiping out terrorism from its territory”, he added. He told Parliament that India will host SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism meeting in September. The Home Minister was answering questions raised by members of Rajya Sabha about his visit to Pakistan for the seventh SAARC Home Ministers conference. Later, Rajnath skipped a luncheon hosted by his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and left for India.

However, the External Affairs Ministry had yesterday said reports of blackout of Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in SAARC meeting in Islamabad were misleading.

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Stringent action should also be taken against persons involved in terrorism and their extradition should be ensured so that they can face the law, the Home Minister said. Local media reports claimed Khan made a decision to ignore the written notes in order to respond to Singh’s speech. They were reportedly kept at a distance by Pakistani officials, which led to a verbal dual between officials of the two sides.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in Rajya Sabha