Pakistan's Abdul Basit says Hizb chief not a global terrorist: 'Syed Salahuddin struggling for Kashmir's right to self-determination'

Refusing to accept Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist, outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Wednesday said that Salahuddin is waging a "struggle for the right to self-determination" of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

File image of Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. AFP

File image of Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit. AFP

"Whatever he is doing, which is also seen in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, is a struggle for the right to self-determination," Basit told ANI in an interview.

Salahuddin was pronounced a global terrorist by the US on 26 June this year, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US president Donald Trump in Washington.

Salahuddin, who operates out of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), has accepted his organisation's role in several terrorist attacks in India, wrote NDTV.com.

In the interview, Basit reiterated his country’s position on Hurriyat, saying that they are representatives of the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He also dismissed National Investigation Agency's recent arrests of Hurriyat leaders in relation with terror funding cases by saying that these are old allegations and "nothing will come out of it".

Talking about Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Basit said that Saeed was put under house arrest but was released due to lack of evidence. "We are trying to gather more evidence against him and if we find there is enough evidence available to try him, we will do that," he told ANI.

Earlier, talking about the India-Pakistan derailed dialogue process, Basit had said in a separate interview to the The Indian Express that the national security advisors of the two countries have been in touch with each other and hinted that they had also met recently.

The envoy remained non-committal about giving visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and said that since Jadhav has been found involved in not only "espionage but also in subversion", his case is sensitive.

He also claimed that Jadhav has given Pakistan a lot of information on his activities because of which "hundreds of people" and sleeper cells have been busted in the country, according to The Indian Express report.

On the SAARC summit, which was supposed to take place in Pakistan this year, Basit said would now take place next year.

"We are in touch with the SAARC secretariat in Kathmandu, if not this year, then perhaps next year. We are in August already and these summits need preparation. My personal feeling is that it will be held next year," Basit said.


Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 09:52 AM

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