‘Pakistan targeting Indians working in Afghanistan’: Govt to Parliament
Pakistan has been targeting Indian professionals working in Afghanistan in a variety of ways, and several Indians working on development projects have been attacked and kidnapped over the past 12 years, the government informed Parliament on Monday.
Since September last year, Pakistan has also attempted to designate four Indian nationals, who had previously worked in Afghanistan, as terrorists under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
“However, the 1267 Sanctions Committee, based on its internal procedures, has not approved the request,” the minister said.
In his response to the same question, Muraleedharan said: “Pakistan has been targeting Indian professionals working in Afghanistan through a variety of ways. Several Indians working in Afghanistan on various development projects have been attacked and kidnapped over the past 12 years.
“With the assistance of [the] government of Afghanistan, India has been able to secure [the] release of many Indians from captivity. In addition, [the] Indian embassy and its consulates have also been attacked.”
The last of seven Indian engineers who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in May 2018 were recently released before the Afghan government and the Taliban launched intra-Afghan negotiations in Qatar this month.
Muraleedharan said as a result of the Indian government’s efforts, there is “enhanced concern in the international community at terrorism emanating from Pakistan, including the continuing activities of internationally designated terrorist entities and individuals such as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad [and] Hizbul Mujahideen”.
The world community strongly condemned the cross-border terror attack in Pulwama in February 2019 and several countries have called on Pakistan to “not allow its territory to be used for terrorism in any manner”, he said.
“Many terrorist entities and individuals who find shelter in Pakistan and are also engaged in terrorism against India have been proscribed by the United Nations (UN), the European Union and other countries,” he said, adding that JeM founder Masood Azhar was sanctioned by the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee in May last year. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), at its plenary in June 2018, notified Pakistan in the “grey list” due to “continuing terror financing-related concerns, including with respect to the UN proscribed terrorist entities like LeT, JuD and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation”, he further said.