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Onus on Pak to create environment for normal relations: govt

PTI

New Delhi

India has conveyed to Pakistan that it wants normal neighbourly relations with it in an atmosphere free from terror, and the onus is on Islamabad for creating such an environment, the government said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan listed a number of developments, including FATF notifying Pakistan in the ‘grey list’, as a vindication or India’s consistent stand that internationally designated terrorist groups and individuals continue to operate from and raise financial resources with impunity in the neighbouring country.

They are using territories under Pakistan’s control for carrying out cross-border terrorism in India and elsewhere in South Asia, he said.

The minister said the government has consistently raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and placed high emphasis on international cooperation in combating the menace including in bilateral, regional and international fora.

Asked about steps for garnering global support for India against terrorism, he said as a result of government’s persistent efforts, international community has shown understanding of India’s position.

There is enhanced concern in the international community over the terrorism emanating from Pakistan, including the continuing activities of internationally designated terrorist entities and individuals including Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Hizbul Mujahideen, Muraleedharan said.

This manifested in international support after the cross border terrorist attack in Pulwama in February 2019, he said.

Major partner countries have also called on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe havens provided to terrorist groups operating from territories under its control and take meaningful action against these groups, he said.

In the aftermath of the cross-border terror attack in Pulwama, UN Security Council condemned in the strongest term the heinous and cowardly act, the minister said.

“Many terrorist entities and individuals who find shelter in Pakistan and are also engaged in terrorism against India have been proscribed by the United Nations (UN), the European Union and other countries,” Muraleedharan said.

On May 1, the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee designated Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad as a UN proscribed terrorist, he said.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), at its plenary in June 2018, notified Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ due to continuing terror financing related concerns, including with respect to the UN proscribed terrorist entities like LeT, JuD and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, he said.

“These vindicate India’s consistent stand that internationally designated terrorist groups and individuals continue to operate from and raise financial resources with impunity in Pakistan, and use territories under its control for carrying out cross-border terrorism in India and elsewhere in South Asia,” Muraleedharan said.

“India’s call to condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, zero tolerance to terrorism, rejection of any justification for an act of terror, delinking terror from religion and need for all forces believing in humanity to unite in fight against terrorism has found greater acceptance among the international community,” he said.

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