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Government has no roadmap for engaging with Pakistan: Congress

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New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government of lacking a roadmap in its engagement with Pakistan, saying people wish to know its policy concerning the neighbour.

Stating how ahead of the Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said talks could not held amid bomb blasts and gunshots, Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh said there has been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan ahead of the National Security Adviser-level talks between India and Pakistan.

Referring to the Pakistan High Commission inviting Kashmiri separatist leaders to meet Pakistan national security adviser Sartaz Aziz before he meets his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, the Congress leader said the government had earlier called off foreign secretary level talks on the issue.

“What will the government do now? People want to know what is the government’s policy,” Singh told IANS.

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R.P.N. Singh

The government had called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August last year after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri separatist leaders.

Taking a jibe at the BJP, Singh said differences even exist among the party members on the need to hold NSA-level talks at the present juncture.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the government of not having a roadmap on engagement with Pakistan.

Sharma also sought apology from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his reported remarks that time had come for debate on what extent can an “indirectly elected” house could hold reform proposals passed by the “directly-elected” Lok Sabha. The government lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha.

(IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)