India should arrest Thackeray for 'hate speeches' as we did Saeed: Pak FO

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Islamabad, Apr.23 (ANI): Comparing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray with wanted Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafeez Muhammad Saeed, the mastermind of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan wants New Delhi to take action against the political leader for inciting ill-feelings against it.

During an interaction with a visiting India media delegation here, Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit was asked as to why Islamabad was dragging its feet on taking action against Saeed despite India providing numerous dossiers, which nails his direct involvement in the Mumbai carnage.

"I don't hold brief for Hafiz Saeed. We arrested him. Have you arrested Bal Thackeray for making hate speeches against Pakistan," Basit replied.

Commenting on India's consistent claims that the groups like the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were still running terror training camps inside Pakistan's boundary, he said Islamabad is ready to take on those camps if exact information is shared with it.

Basit reiterated Islamabad's demand for re-starting the stalled composite dialogue with India, saying such talks had proved to be of great help in building confidence between the two neighbouring countries.

"It helped us sign prior notification of missile trials, it helped us in ceasefire and to agree on confidence building measures on Kashmir. It created a congenial atmosphere as well," the spokesperson said.

Basit also pointed out that disputes like Siachen could not be settled unilaterally.

"We had made enormous progress on Siachen and Sir Creek. These issues can be handled quickly if the dialogue is resumed," he said.

He also objected to India's hardened stance on the resumption of the composite dialogue, saying its better not to engage in any form of deliberation than to add 'pre-conditions' to composite talks.

Basit also condemned India for labelling happenings in Kashmir as a 'terrorist struggle', and said Pakistan would never accept those claims. (ANI)

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