India summons Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit
India today summoned Pakistan envoy and issued a strong demarche over Pakistan's continued support to cross-border terrorism in Kashmir, which has fuelled unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar called his counterpart Abdul Basit to his South Block office and lodged a strong protest over the issue as he made a specific reference to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist and Pakistan national Bahadur Ali, who was captured recently in North Kashmir during an encounter, reports NDTV.
"Jaishankar called in the Pakistan envoy and issued a strong demarche on continuing cross-border terrorism from Pakistan. Demarche made specific reference to LeT terrorist Bahadur Ali," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Bahadur Ali, born in the Zia Bagga village of Pakistan, was arrested by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on July 25 with weapons (AK 47 rifle, live rounds, grenades, grenade launcher, etc.) as also sophisticated communication equipment and other materials of Pakistani/international origin, according to the demarche issued to Abdul Basit.
"Bahadur Ali has confessed to our authorities that after training in Lashkar-e-Taiba camps, he was infiltrated into India. He was thereafter in touch with an 'operations room' of LeT, receiving instructions to attack Indian security personnel and carry out other terrorist attacks in India," it said.
The summon comes on a day when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Kashmir, which has been witnessing widespread unrest for over a month triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces. As many as 55 people have lost their lives in incidents of violence since then, according to NDTV.
The ties between India and Pakistan have seen growing bitterness after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of Burhan Wani's killing on July 8.
Nawaz Sharif praised Burhan Wani and hailed him as a "martyr". He also reportedly asserted "Kashmir will one day become Pakistan", a comment which evoked a sharp reaction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his dream of the state becoming a part of his country "will not be realised even at the end of eternity".
The chill in bilateral relations was on full display during Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Islamabad for an SAARC ministerial meet last week when he and his Pakistan counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan not only avoided a proper handshake but Singh also left without attending the lunch hosted by Khan, the news agency reports.