Groups like RSS, Sena biggest hurdle for ties with India: Pak minister

  • PTI, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jun 20, 2016 21:29 IST
File photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on December 25, 2015. A Pakistani minister said on June 20, 2016, that groups like RSS and Shiv Sena are the biggest hurdle in ties between the two countries. (PIB Handout)

Pakistan’s interior minister on Monday alleged that Hindu “extremist groups” like RSS and Shiv Sena are the “biggest hurdle” to normalisation of Indo-Pak ties and asked external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to name the “forces” which she said are against good bilateral relations.

“If the Indian foreign minister is serious and determined for (good) ties with Pakistan, then she should not talk through riddles or try for political point scoring. In fact, she should clarify and point out which forces in her opinion were against good ties between Pakistan and India,” interior minister Nisar Ali Khan said.

Khan was reacting to Swaraj’s remarks that there are forces which do not want good relations between the Prime Ministers of the two countries and better ties between the two neighbours.

The Pakistani minister said in his opinion “extremist groups like RSS, Shiv Sena and Abhinav Bharat were the biggest hurdle in the way of normalisation of ties as such groups have influence over the Indian government.”

“If Indian government was serious in normalisation of ties, then why it has closed doors for talks,” Khan asked.

He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in the US Congress, sarcastically saying that “each word used by him showed his friendship policy” for Pakistan.

Khan said Sharif’s relations with any world leader were above his personal relations and Indian foreign minister should not try to portray Sharif-Modi relations as personal.

On Saturday, Sushma Swaraj said Pakistan has not refused to allow an NIA team to visit that country to probe the Pathankot airbase attack case and just sought “more time”. She had said the “warmth and ease” in relationship between Modi and Sharif can help resolve complex issues between the two neighbours.

In his address to the US Congress earlier this month, Modi had said that though the shadow of terrorism is spreading across the world, “it is incubated in India’s neighbourhood”.

Without naming Pakistan, he had commended members of the US Congress for sending a clear message to “those who preach and practice terrorism for political gains”.

“Refusing to reward them is the first step towards holding them accountable for their actions,” he added.

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