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Pak epicenter of terrorism: Dr Jitendra

India dismisses Pak demand for evidence on Hafiz

Excelsior Correspondent
New Delhi, Feb 2 A day after Pakistan asked India to provide “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today said the country has been providing evidence at different levels and cautioned the longer Pakistan stays in “denial mode” the more it risks its own security.
Asserting that Pakistan has emerged as the “epicenter of terrorism” in the entire region, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, Dr Singh said, the neighbouring country is also the “hub of gross human rights violations”.
“The entire world now acknowledges and realises that, from time to time, India has been providing a series of evidence at different levels. And, therefore, there is hardly any evidence required.
“The longer Pakistan prefers to stay in denial mode, they must realise, the powers that be in Islamabad, the more they are going to risk their own security,” Singh told reporters outside Parliament.
Pakistan had yesterday asked India to provide “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if it was “serious” about its allegations against him.
Before that, India had said that only a credible crackdown on the Mumbai terror attack mastermind would be proof of Islamabad’s sincerity.
Saeed and four other Jamaat-ud Dawa leaders – Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz – were put under house arrest after an order was issued by Punjab Province’s Interior Ministry in pursuance to a directive from the Federal Interior Ministry on January 27.
On the H1B Visa issue, Dr Singh said, the External Affairs Ministry will look into it and take appropriate measures.
“It won’t be right for me to give a final response to that without being privy to exact details. Nevertheless, I am sure the Government and the External Affairs Ministry will take cognisance and justice will be done,” he said.
Meanwhile, India today dismissed Pakistan’s demand for “concrete evidence” against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed in the 26/11 case, saying the required proof is already available in that country as the entire conspiracy was hatched there and all it needs to find is “requisite” political will to take action.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said India would not go by the claims or statements made by Pakistan about the steps taken to check terrorism but by what happens on the ground.
“Entire conspiracy for the Mumbai attack was hatched in Pakistan. All the terrorists came from Pakistan. All the planning was done in Pakistan. All the support was rendered by Pakistan. So, all the evidence to implicate the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack is already available in Pakistan.
“In fact, Hafiz Saeed has himself confessed to masterminding multiple terrorists attacks directed at India. So the concrete evidence that Pakistan establishment is looking for is already available in Pakistan. All they need to find is requisite political will,” Swarup said.
He was asked about the statement of a Pakistan Interior Ministry Spokesperson that “If indeed India is serious about its allegations, it should come up with concrete evidence against Hafiz Saeed which is sustainable in court of law in Pakistan or for that matter anywhere in the world” and that mere casting aspersions and levelling allegations without any corroborating evidence would not help.
On the recent release of Chandu Babulal Chavan and if this indicated softening of Pakistan’s stand that could lead to resumption of bilateral dialogue, Swarup said India welcomes the steps taken by Pakistan on humanitarian matters.
“We have consistently maintained that a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is only possible in an atmosphere free of terror and violence. Any credible steps in that direction will certainly be welcomed by India,” he said.
He added, “We will not go by their (Pakistan’s) claims and statements. We will go by what we will see on the ground. At the end of the day, that is what matters.”
Swarup was also asked if the meeting of SAARC officials which is currently underway in Kathmandu has paved the way for the SAARC Summit, to which he said one cannot arrive at such a conclusion.
“India is committed to the ideals and objectives of SAARC. Our objection was to the holding of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad at a time when one particular country is opposed to regional connectivity initiatives, is promoting cross-border terrorism and is interfering in domestic affairs of other countries.
“Not only India, other SAARC countries also joined in saying that this time was not conducive to host the Summit in Islamabad,” Swarup said.
A majority of SAARC countries including India had pulled out of the 19th SAARC summit, scheduled to be held in Islamabad last November, maintaining that the atmosphere was conducive for holding of the summit in view of continuous cross-border terrorism by Pakistan.

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