Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed accused home minister Rajnath Singh of being “responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris” and warned of protests across Pakistan if the Indian leader arrives in Islamabad to attend a conference.
Singh will visit Islamabad on August 3 and 4 to attend the meeting of home ministers and interior ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations.
“I want to ask the Pakistani government will it add insult to injury to the wounds of Kashmiris by welcoming Rajnath who is responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris?” he asked in a statement issued in Lahore on Monday.
“It will be ironical as on the one hand the whole Pakistani nation is protesting against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir and on the other hand the Pakistani rulers will be garlanding Singh,” said the statement.
His remarks came in the wake of the recent unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. The militancy-hit state has been on the boil since the death of 22-year-old Burhan Wani on July 8 in an encounter in southern Kashmir. His death sparked violent protests in the Valley that killed at least 49 people and wounded hundreds.
Pakistani leaders have criticised India over the Kashmir unrest, and the country observed on July 20 a “black day” to protest against the killings. The move drew angry reaction from India, which accused Islamabad of interfering in New Delhi’s internal affairs and backing terrorism.
Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, said “if Singh comes to Islamabad”, JuD protests will tell the world that “the Pakistani rulers might have compulsions to receive Kashmiris’ killers but the people of Pakistan are siding with oppressed Kashmiris”.
He added that protest demonstrations will be held and rallies taken out in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Muzaffarabad and other cities of the country on August 3.
Saeed, who is carrying a $10 million US bounty on his head, warned the government that Singh’s presence in Islamabad may create “unrest” among Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis in the face of scores of killings of Kashmiris “at the hands of Indian forces”.
The people of Kashmir had refused to meet Singh during his Srinagar visit, he said, adding the PML-N government “must also refuse to receive the BJP leader on the excuse that it may hurt and incite feelings of Kashmiris and Pakistanis.”
Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to immediately recall its ambassador from New Delhi and “suspend trade and diplomatic ties” with India in the wake of ongoing unrest in the Valley.
The Pakistani government should not have invited Singh to the SAARC conference, he said.
“Ailing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should at least recall Pakistan’s ambassador from New Delhi and suspend trade and diplomatic ties with India. The rulers should give up hypocrisy and the Pakistan government should either plead the case of Kashmiris or make friends with India,” Salahuddin said while addressing the ‘Azadi Kashmir March’ on Sunday evening.
He said curfew had been clamped in Kashmir for the past 23 days and the Valley had turned into a ‘volcano for India that could explode any time’.
(With agency inputs)