Tension simmers between Pak- India interior ministers at Saarc met in capital


ISLAMABAD: The interior ministers of both Pakistan and India made critical remarks apparently aimed at each other’s governments on the second day of a Saarc conference here on Thursday, as tensions between the two neighbouring countries run high in the aftermath of weeks-long violence in India-held Kashmir.
In his address to the Saarc interior ministers’ conference, India’s home minister made a direct jibe aimed at the Pakistani government for its strong condemnation of the killing of Kashmiri separatist leader Burhan Wani by Indian forces.
“There are no good terrorists or bad terrorists,” said Rajnath Singh in his address, referring to earlier criticism the Indian state has levelled against Pakistan.
Singh called for “strongest action not only against terrorists or organisations but also against those individuals, organisations and nations.”
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, in response, lambasted the “use of excessive force” to suppress protests in held Kashmir, without naming the Indian government.
“Using torture against innocent children and violence against civilians qualifies as terrorism,” said the minister, adding that there was a need to end an “extremist” mindset and instead try to solve regional issues with dialogue.
Nisar said like the attacks in Pathankot, Kabul, Mumbai and Dhaka, Pakistan too has lost many innocent lives due to terrorism. “The use of blame game has not benefited anyone for the past six decades.”
No bilateral meeting between the Indian home minister and his Pakistani counterpart took place on the sidelines of the ministerial conference that ended Thursday.