Rajnath Singh defends Parrikar, hits out at Pakistan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: May 25, 2015 00:16 IST

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday defended defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s remarks about fighting terrorists with terrorists, which had prompted Pakistan to accuse India of patronising terrorism.

Terrorism-hit Pakistan should help fight the menace rather than lash out at India, he said, turning the heat on Islamabad on a scorching afternoon.

“As you sow, so you reap. Pakistan is experiencing the ill-effects of their own creation,” Singh said and praised Muslims in India for their patriotism. “Not only India, but the entire world knows who is promoting terrorism.”

Pakistan has been long accused of treating terrorists as strategic assets, especially to carry out its army’s bidding in Kashmir, though it denies the allegation. But its denials took a severe beating when Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militants launched the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, killing 166 people.

Parrikar had said he would take “proactive steps” to meet any threat to the country, “neutralise terrorist through terrorist” if required.

Adviser to the Pakistan prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, lashed on to Parrikar’s remarks, saying it confirmed Islamabad’s fears about India’s covert involvement in terrorism in his country.

“It must be the first time that a minister of an elected government openly advocates use of terrorism in another country on the pretext of preventing terrorism from that country or its non-state actors,” Aziz said in a statement.

Home minister Singh said Pakistan should stop encouraging terror in India as well in their own country since it too had suffered the consequences.

He was reacting to Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit’s recent statement that Pakistan too was a victim of terror. The neighbouring nation suffered its worst terror attack on December 16 last year when Taliban-linked gunmen stormed a military-run school in Peshawar and killed 148 people, mostly schoolchildren.

The home minister, who is on a three-day tour of his Lok Sabha constituency to highlight the NDA government achievements after a year in office, lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching social security schemes and refuted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's allegation that a mega food park in Amethi was scrapped because of political vendetta.

“India is the fastest-growing economy. I am confident the GDP growth will reach 10% because of our policy decisions,” he said. He recalled how the GDP growth had touched 10.4% during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rule.

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