India sponsoring terror in Pakistan: Former minister


Islamabad : India is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan via Afghanistan, a former Pakistani minister charged Monday.

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“If India talks about terrorism then India should not forget that it is also involved in sponsoring terrorism and extremism in Pakistan from Afghanistan,” Online news agency quoted Mushahid Hussain as telling a private TV channel.

Hussain, a former information and broadcasting minister, is the secretary general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) that ruled the country for five years till it was ousted in the February 2008 general elections.

Answering a question, he said the “meddling of India in Pakistan should also be discussed in the composite dialogue”.

Ever since it was made known last week that India had invited Pakistan for foreign secretary-level talks, Pakistani politicians have been referring to this as the composite dialogue process that New Delhi had frozen in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage that it has blamed on elements operating from this country.

On its part, India has said it was premature to talk about resuming the composite dialogue at the present moment and made it clear to Pakistan that the proposed talks are part of “a step-by-step incremental approach” and that Islamabad should “do more” to address New Delhi’s concerns over cross-border terror.

Hussain claimed that mounting pressure of the international community had forced India to resume talks with Pakistan, adding that Kashmir, water and other lingering issues should also figure in the discussions.

There was complete consensus in Pakistan about relations with India as well as on the Kashmir issue and the government should take the entire political leadership of the country into confidence over the talks, he added.

Pakistan should enter into talks with India without any fear, Hussain maintained.

Responding to another question, he said: “We have no objection if India is keen to play any role for development of Afghanistan but its desire to form an anti-Pakistan government in Afghanistan is intolerable (unacceptable).”

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik is currently in Islamabad to discuss the two dates – Feb 18 or Feb 25 – proposed by India for the foreign secretary-level talks in New Delhi.

Malik had on Friday met Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to work out the modalities for the talks, at which New Delhi has indicated that it is ready to discuss all bilateral issues of concern.