Pakistan’s interpretation of the Shram-el Sheikh joint statement could make the government’s task tougher in Parliament where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would face an aggressive opposition when he intervenes in a debate on the contentious issue on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s security czar Rehman Malik punctured the two main defence lines taken by New Delhi following the furore on the Indo-Pak joint statement issued after Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Egypt on July 16.
In separate interviews, Malik ruled out the possibility of the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawah head Hafiz Mohammed Saeed’s for his involvement in the 26/11 attacks and alleged that New Delhi was supplying weapons to terrorists and extremists in Balochistan.
Interior minister Malik’s statement would have come as a shocker for New Delhi as the government has repeatedly claimed that Islamabad had promised strong action against perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage.
In its defence for including Balochistan in the joint-statement, government had said it was ready to discuss anything with Pakistan if it wants to bring up its “internal issue” in bilateral talks.
“We do not have any proof against Hafiz Saeed,” Malik said in an interview to Pakistan’s Geo News. “We have demanded and we are demanding from India that if you have proof, give (it to) us, but do not do propaganda. I assure we will take action. But just on hearsay we cannot arrest our citizen,” he said.
“If New Delhi wants some credible action, it needs to provide substantiated evidence,” he added.
In an interview to a French television channel, Malik reportedly said India was supplying weapons to terrorists and extremists in Balochistan via Afghanistan.
The government has been under fire from the Opposition over the Indo Pak joint statement that delinks terrorism with the Composite Dialogue between the two countries and includes the B-word in the text.
The issue had also created disquiet within Congress which the party hopes would be addressed by the PM’s speech.