Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 11:17 AM IST

Don't pay Hafiz Saeed more attention than he deserves: Congress

Updated: Aug 01, 2016 15:58 IST
New Delhi, Aug 1 (ANI): With Hafiz Saeed warning of a countrywide protest in Pakistan if Home Minister Rajnath Singh enters Islamabad to attend the SAARC ministerial conference, the Congress party on Monday asserted that the Jamaat-ud-Dawah(JuD) chief should not be taken seriously and should simply be ignore.

"Why do we take these people seriously? Hafiz Saeed knows nothing about anything. How is his view on multilateral meeting on the SAARC even relevant to the rest of us? My serious advice is, let the Indian media also learn to ignore this man," Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told ANI here.

Asserting that attention should be paid to Saeed only when he causes trouble, he added that he should be avoided when he makes inflammatory statements.

Earlier, Saeed has warned of massive protests if Rajnath entered Pakistan.

"I want to ask the Pakistani government will it add insult to injury to the wounds of Kashmiris by welcoming Rajnath who is responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris. It will be ironical as on the one hand the whole Pakistani nation is protesting+ against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir and on the other hand the Pakistani rulers will be garlanding Singh," said the statement issued on Monday," he said in a statement.

He added that protest demonstrations will be held and rallies taken out in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Muzaffarabad and other cities of the country on August 3.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has ruled out any possibilities of bilateral talks with leaders of Pakistan, saying that the visit was strictly for the purpose of attending the SAARC ministerial conference.

"The Home Minister is not travelling for a bilateral engagement with Pakistan, he is going for a SAARC related event. You know the importance that we attach to SAARC, to regional cooperation, to regional prosperity. So please take this in the right context. The Home Minister is visiting Pakistan for a SAARC related event as Home Ministers of India have been attending all previous Home Minister related events in the SAARC context," MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a press conference.

When asked if the Home Minister could possibly hand over any information, any dossier or any follow-up bilaterally on India's terror concerns to his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, the MEA spokesperson stated that there is no such proposal and re-iterated that Rajnath is only going for a multi-lateral SAARC event.

Rajnath will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and several other senior officers of the Home Ministry.

The meeting in Pakistan is significant as Singh last week slammed the neighbour state for interfering in India's internal affairs - the current unrest in Kashmir.

Blaming Pakistan directly for the tense situation in Kashmir, Rajnath had said that Islamabad must understand that instigating youth to pick up weapons is not correct.

"I want to tell my neighbour that instigating our youth to pick up weapons is not correct. We don't need third party's involvement to address the situation that prevails in Jammu & Kashmir," he said, adding that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism and it must not encourage violence in Kashmir.

At the 13th SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005, the Heads of State decided that the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers would meet annually preceded by a meeting of the Interior/Home Secretaries to strengthen cooperation in the area of counterterrorism, which they agreed was a challenge to all states and a threat to humanity, and could not be justified on any grounds. (ANI)