Pak urges world to take notice of Shiv Sena activities

Islamabad: Pakistan today asked the international community to take notice of the “terrorist activities” of Shiv Sena which had blackened the face of ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni over the launch of a book by former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri.

“I agree with you that the international community should take note of the terrorist activities of this organisation. We have repeatedly expressed our concern on its activities,” said Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah.

Khalilullah said this during his weekly briefing while responding to a question about any plans to get Shiv Sena declared a terrorist organisation globally.

Earlier this month, Shiv Sena activists smeared the face of Observer and Research Foundation (ORF) chairman Kulkarni with black paint to protest Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.

A concert of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali, also scheduled in Mumbai, was cancelled after security concerns arose over threats issued by Shiv Sena activists.

Khalilullah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and offered condolences as well as assistance following the recent earthquake.

Good gestures like this has been made in the past by both sides, he said.

“However, this does not diminish the need to resolve outstanding disputes and issues including Kashmir through a ‘sustained and resilient dialogue process between the two neighbours,’ as emphasised in the Pak-US Joint Statement issued during the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Washington,” he said.

To a question, the Foreign Office spokesman said that accusation about the presence of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Karachi have been made in the past and Pakistan rejected them “as baseless and unfounded.”

He also said that an Indian Minister recently said that Dawood’s whereabouts were not known.

Khalilullah said the steep rise in India’s defence budget and its massive arms buildup through acquisition of modern weaponry is a matter of concern as the growing conventional asymmetry undermines regional stability and also negatively impacts the balance of strategic deterrence.

“Pakistan remains fully cognizant of evolving security dynamics in South Asia and, while adhering to the policy of avoiding an arms race, will take all measures to safeguard its national security,” he said.

He also said that Pakistan never accepted any pressure from anywhere on its nuclear programme.

Being a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan has every right to take all possible measures for its defence, he said.