Tribune New Service
New Delhi, October 21. For the second time in two months, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today accused Pakistan of fomenting trouble in India.
“We have credible information that Pakistan is helping terrorists enter our territory,” Shinde said on the sidelines of an event to mark Police Commemoration Day here today. “We have intelligence inputs and we are alert,” Shinde said, advising people to be “extra vigilant” during the ongoing festival season.
This is the second time in two months that Shinde has accused Pakistan of stirring trouble in India. Earlier on August 19, in the middle of the exodus of the North-Easterners from South India, Shinde had telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik. The official statement of the Home Ministry then quoted Shinde as having expressed concern to Malik “over the issue of social media-networking sites being misused by the elements based in Pakistan to circulate false pictures and stories to whip up communal sentiments in India and has sought Pakistan’s full cooperation in checking and neutralising such elements”.
Shinde, who took over as Union Home Minister on August 1 replacing P Chidambaram, today reiterated that security forces cannot be withdrawn from the Kashmir valley till normalcy was completely restored there.
“When I was in Jammu and Kashmir, people asked me to pull out the Army from the Valley, but I told them that we can’t do it till the situation is peaceful. We will remove the Army when the situation is peaceful,” he said. The minister has already indicated that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) — to which Chidambaram wanted some amendments — cannot be removed from J&K.
Earlier, at the Police Commemoration Day ceremony, Shinde paid tribute to 575 securitymen who laid down their lives on duty in the past year. While 383 personnel from the state police forces were killed between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012, 192 troopers of the central armed police forces died during the period this year.
Meanwhile, India has sought to toughen its posture on allowing a Pakistani judicial commission to visit India again to cross examine the Mumbai terror attack witnesses.
There has to be a quid pro quo, India has said, sources revealed adding that Pakistan has to allow a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a reciprocal basis to examine the material evidence collected against the arrested 26/11 terror attack prime accused, including LeT commander Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and six others, against whom trial is going on in a Rawalpindi court, sources added. Islamabad had asked New Delhi to allow its panel to visit Mumbai again.
An eight-member Pakistan judicial commission had visited India in March following a bilateral agreement which said the commission would not quiz the magistrate, who had recorded the statement of Kasab, the investigating officer of the case and two doctors, who conducted the post-mortem examination of slain terrorists.
The Rawalpindi court dealing with the 26/11 case rejected the evidence collected by the commission saying it had no “evidential value” to punish those involved in the Mumbai terror attack.