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Pak shouldn’t lecture India on its internal matters: MEA on Handwara row

india Updated: May 20, 2016 20:52 IST
Handwara issue

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup interacts with journalists during a press conference in Delhi.

Reacting angrily to reported comments by Islamabad on Handwara incident in Kashmir, India on Friday said it does not need any lecture from Pakistan on its internal matters.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said comments by a senior minister in Pakistan’s Punjab province that action cannot be taken against terrorist groups Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JuM) as the state itself was involved with them corroborated India’s position.

Swarup said the remarks of Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah elucidated the reason for lack of effective action even against those entities and individuals against whom Pakistan has international obligation to act, adding Islamabad must address the “unfortunate reality”.

“If the minister indeed said so, it sadly corroborates the view that we have always held about the support and freedom available to anti-India terrorist groups in Pakistan, including internationally sanctioned terrorist groups and individuals,” Swarup said.

Read | Can’t prosecute JuD, JeM, state involved in their activities: Pak leader

The Pakistani minister also ruled out the possibility of any legal action against the terror groups saying, “How can you prosecute a group with whom the state itself has been involved with?”.

“It is up to authorities in Pakistan to address this unfortunate reality in the interest of a normal relationship between the two countries and in broader interest of Pakistan itself,” he said.

Read | India hits back after Pak ‘concern’ over draft bill on border map

Asked to respond to Pakistan foreign office’s reported comments about protests following the Handwara incident Swarup, in a strong reaction, called Pakistan an epicentre of global terrorism and that Islamabad has no locus standi to comment on such internal issues.

“We do not need lectures from third parties, least of all from Pakistan, which would do well to reflect upon the state it finds itself in, as an epicentre of global terrorism and a country where religious minorities are routinely persecuted,” said Swarup.

He said India’s robust and vibrant democracy has enough redressal mechanisms to handle such cases.

“The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi in commenting on matters that are entirely internal to the state of J&K and India.