Onus On Pak To Ensure Rajnath Singh's Safety During Trip, Says Government

Highlights

  • Rajnath Singh's visit to Pakistan on track, say government sources
  • Hizbul chief warned Pakistan against welcoming Rajnath Singh
  • Security is host country's responsibility, say foreign ministry sources
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh's plans to travel to Pakistan this week for a SAARC summit remain unchanged, the government said on Monday, a day after a threat by the chief of the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen at a rally in Lahore.

"The home minister is going to Pakistan for multi-lateral meeting. Terrorism will figure in talks... If any security issue arises, it's Pakistan's responsibility to deal with it," Minister of State For Home Kiren Rijiju said.

At a rally on Sunday, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin threatened to stop Mr Singh's visit. Accusing him of "deploying soldiers in Kashmir to shed the blood of innocents", Salahuddin warned the Pakistan government against welcoming him.

Islamabad is yet to react to the comments.

The home minister's visit comes amid tension between the two countries over Pakistan's provocative comments on Kashmir and the unrest in the aftermath of terrorist Burhan Wani's killing on July 8.

New Delhi has made it clear that there will be no bilateral meeting between Mr Singh and Pakistani leaders during the SAARC ministerial conference on Thursday.

Burhan Wani, 22, was a wanted commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Praising Wani, Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif recently said that "Kashmir will one day become Pakistan", a comment which evoked a sharp reaction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said his dream of the state becoming a part of his country "will not be realised even at the end of eternity".

Home ministry sources say Mr Singh is expected to underscore that Pakistan must stop sponsoring acts of terror in India. He is also likely to take up the slow pace of investigations into the Pathankot airbase terror attack at the start of this year, which was carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, and the trial into the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.