Minister’s remarks: Pakistan rejects Sikh training claims

Terms accusations levelled against ISI ‘uncalled for and regrettable’.

Our Correspondent June 07, 2013
Flag of India. PHOTO: FILE


The foreign ministry on Thursday rejected New Delhi’s allegations that the Inter-Services Intelligence was training Sikh militants to destabilise India.

At his weekly news briefing here, foreign office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry described accusations levelled by Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as “uncalled for and regrettable”.

On Wednesday, the Indian home minister said ISI was pressuring Sikh militant leaders to target Punjab and other parts of India. He also claimed that there had been “some significant development on the Sikh militancy front’ and accused the ISI of seeking to further its “terror plans” in India.

However, the foreign ministry spokesperson vehemently denied involvement of ISI in any such activity.

“We feel that making such statements have the potential of undermining the efforts made by both sides to normalise relations between the two countries,” he cautioned.

He pointed out that Pakistan was itself a victim of terrorism and had rendered immense sacrifices in its efforts to eradicate this menace. The spokesman urged India to share evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in destabilising India.

“Pakistan calls upon the government of India to share any evidence it may have of any such involvement, before levelling such accusations which are counterproductive and serve no purpose,” he added.

The spokesman said Pakistan was committed to discussing and resolving all outstanding issues with India through a meaningful dialogue.

Tens of thousands of people died in a separatist drive for a Sikh homeland which erupted early in the 1980s in Punjab, but the strength of the militancy has waned since then.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2013.


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