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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

BJP, Cong close ranks to slam Pakistan for anti-Modi remarks

PTI  New Delhi, April 30, 2014
First Published: 21:57 IST(30/4/2014) | Last Updated: 22:01 IST(30/4/2014)

Pakistan minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan's remarks about Narendra Modi - that his election as the prime minister would "destabilise" regional peace - evoked a sharp reaction from the BJP, which asked the neighbouring country to "mend its ways".

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Khan's comments came after Modi recently questioned home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on making public the government's efforts to bring back India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, who the government believes is hiding in Pakistan.

Khan had said those accusing Pakistan of sheltering Dawood and talking of launching operation on "our soil should realise Pakistan is not a weak country and such irresponsible statements don't impress us".

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said Modi had never talked about attacking Pakistan and was instead questioning home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on making public the government's efforts to bring back underworld don Dawood Ibrahim who is stated to be in that country.

"We will tell Islamabad to mend their ways, the manner in which they have been functioning and trying to work with India will not work," Lekhi said.

She said the Pakistani minister had chosen to react to a statement of Modi which was critical of Indian home minister.

India did not interfere in electoral politics or internal affairs of other countries and expected the same from them, she added.

"What I do not understand is, this person, Choudhary Nisar Ali Khan, who is the interior minister, is he admitting the presence of Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan? When a person of the opposition party and the incumbent prime minister is making some remarks about the internal working of the country, how is Pakistan affected with that," Lekhi asked at a press conference in Delhi.

Congress, which joined its rival in attacking Pakistan, demanded immediate handing over of Dawood.

"If such a statement is made by the Pakistan's interior minister, this is very unfortunate and condemnable," Congress leader Manish Tewari told reporters here.

Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit, meanwhile, said Pakistan has an "interest" in the ongoing elections but "our assessment won't make a difference".

"Whoever forms the new government, we would definitely want to get along and solve the issues between the two nations," he told reporters in Mumbai.

"You can vote for whomsoever you want. We want to start the peace dialogue with the new government as soon as possible," he added.


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