Interior minister sees Indian hand in targeted attacks on Chinese in Pakistan

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  • Ahsan Iqbal says RAW agent Jadhav had admitted India’s patronage of terrorism in Pakistan
  • Says US aid to Pakistan will not be stopped

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan has established a strong force of 10,000 personnel for protection of Chinese citizens but neighbouring country India, which has undue apprehensions over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, may be involved in the killing of Chinese nationals in Karachi.

The minister gave these remarks during an interview with BBC. He said Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been convicted in Pakistan for spying and involvement in terrorist activities, has also admitted that an Indian spy network is working to sabotage the CPEC.

The two Chinese were in their car in an upmarket area on Monday when the attackers in another car opened fire on their vehicle, according to police, describing it as an apparent “targeted attack”.

“Such incidents would not weaken friendship between Pakistan and China and in fact further strengthen it,” he said.

On a question regarding allegations of terror havens in Pakistan, the minister quoted US as saying that 45 per cent of Afghan territory is under control of extremists and there is no reason for them to have sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Ahsan Iqbal said the US administration has hinted that economic aid to Pakistan will not be stopped. He said that different lobbies are working in the US and want to introduce bills in the US Congress of their own choice.

The US is using different war tactics in Afghanistan according to its new policy, he added.

“The geography of Pakistan and Afghanistan is the same, and Pakistan is the only important and supportive country for the United States in peace efforts in Afghanistan.”

He rejected Afghanistan claim that the terrorists handed over by Pakistan were not Taliban but ordinary refugees.

About protest by Pashtuns, Ahsan Iqbal said despite being out of the country, he spoke with the protesting people and assured them that Rao Anwar would be arrested. He said it was wrong to say that Rao Anwar was being given protection by any state institution or politician.

Separately, speaking at an international convention on World Geological Threats in Washington, Ahsan Iqbal said that security risks pose a global challenge. He said that Pakistan has led the global war on terror and has rendered great sacrifices in dismantling terrorist footholds, Radio Pakistan reported.

The interior minister said that the presence and activity of the Islamic State in Afghanistan is threatening regional peace. However, Pakistan’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and the fruition of the National Action Plan has redeemed the security situation in Pakistan.

Ahsan Iqbal took pride in the country’s forthcoming economic prospects and said that Pakistan is an attractive destination for foreign investments.

In conversation with Senator Lindsey Graham, the minister stressed that Pakistan looks forward to working with the United States in restoring peace in Afghanistan. He further added that stability in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan because it widens the economic horizon and installs protective guards against security risks for Pakistan itself.

Senator Graham acceded to the minister’s remarks and maintained that continued engagement between Pakistan and the United States is imperative to the peace process in Afghanistan.

Both Ahsan Iqbal and Graham discussed other bilateral and regional issues. The interior minister also detailed Pakistan’s military successes in combating terrorism through the National Action Plan.

 

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