Pak minister earns ire of India's rightwing Hindu opposition

New Delhi (Dawn/ANN) - Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik invited angry rejoinders from India's rightwing Hindu opposition yesterday after he had told his hosts at home ministry in New Delhi that the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and the anti-Muslim violence it spawned were undesirable events.

Some TV channels projected Malik's remarks late on Friday as an attempt to equate the Ayodhya outrage with the Mumbai carnage of November 2008. He denied it was his intention to juxtapose the two events in any unacceptable way.

A reported text of his Friday comment seemed to support his claim. "We do not want any 9/11. We do not want any Bombay blasts, we do not want any Samjhauta Express, we do not want any Babri mosque issue and we can work together not only for peace in Pakistan and India but also for the region," Malik had said in New Delhi.

An official judicial probe into the aftermath of Ayodhya had shown 1,500 people were killed, 1,829 injured and 165 missing in the gruesome violence in Mumbai for which the report put the blame on the Shiv Sena and its followers in the city police.

Malik's comments came just ahead of a report in "The Hindu", which quoted a 1992 top aide of then prime minister Narasimha Rao as saying that he had wanted the mosque to be replaced by a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Rao "wanted the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya through an "apolitical" trust and prepared an "unshakeable" master plan.

He believed this could be done by the trust that could enjoy "acceptability" from all corners of the Hindu religion," his media adviser P.V.R.K. Prasad was quoted as saying.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley slammed the UPA government for not responding to Malik's Babri Masjid statement immediately.

"The senior minister present should have contested that statement rather than him (Malik) having to clarify his statements," Jaitley said.

Malik, who is on a three-day visit to the country, also said that Pakistan had initiated investigation into Mumbai attacks and made arrests even before India brought up the issue. He added that Pakistan was not backing any terrorist group, including Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Earlier, Malik, who termed the talks with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde "successful", had created another controversy in the media by saying he was unsure whether India's Kargil war hero Captain Saurabh Malik had been killed by a Pakistani bullet or the weather.

Interacting with mediapersons on Saturday, Malik said: "Today, I humbly submitted to him (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) that people of Pakistan, specially people from the village where he was born and attended school, want to see him."

He said Pakistani people and "his childhood friends want to see a person who is not only the prime minister of India, but also a visionary leader of the world".

Dr Singh, however, said that people in New Delhi asked about the culprits of 26/11. "So, I explained to him and want to tell the people of this country also that there will be no delay from our side; whenever the judicial commission submits its report after cross examination, we will conclude the trial in a very short duration of time," Malik added.

Agencies add: Speaking at a lunch hosted by the president of the Confederation of Indian Bar, Pravin H. Parekh, Malik said there was a growing interaction between Pakistan and India as their joint efforts in eliminating terrorism would help bring peace and stability to the region.

"Both sides are facing scourge of terrorism and extremism and have suffered financial as well as precious human lives loss and it is time that we should make efforts for peace and root out the menace of terrorism to ensure secure atmosphere for the coming generations."

The minister said authorities had arrested Hafiz Saeed Ahmed three times, but the courts had to grant him bail as no convincing evidence was available.

"If India has strong evidence against Hafiz Saeed for his alleged involvement in Mumbai attacks, I would order his arrest immediately before leaving India," he added.

Malik also held meetings with Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon
    Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options