He was at it again. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik did not leave even a single chance to stir controversies during his almost futile visit to India. His recent three-day stay in India was marked by one insensitive and irresponsible comment after another.
As soon as he landed in India, he created a furore by making a complete thoughtless remark on Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia. It was the height of insensitivity when he said he wasn’t sure what killed Captain Kalia in the 1999 Kargil War – whether Pakistani bullet or weather? Excuse me, but since when weather caused severe torture like cigarette burns, amputated limbs, ear drums pierced with hot iron rods and much more. Coming up with such a nonsensical comment is an insult to our hero, who was brutally tortured in the Pakistani Army captivity for more than 22 days.
Why on Earth did he even bother to make a remark on an issue which he later claimed he did not know much about? Rather than sympathising with the agony of Captain Kalia`s father, the motormouth minister from Pakistan just offended the sentiments attached with the issue.
It was just not enough for Mr Malik. He then came up with a despicable defence for none other than Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. According to the Pakistani Interior Minister, India has not provided hard evidence against the founder of terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). He even went on to claim: "I have got him arrested earlier on three occasions and if you see the court order which I can also make them public ... So, if our court asks us not to arrest him, tell me what is the fault of the Executive”.
His lie was later nailed by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who told Parliament that Pakistan`s claim that it had "arrested" Saeed in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks has actually turned to be erroneous. As per the documents furnished by the delegation led by Malik, the LeT chief was, in reality, picked up for cases that were not related to 26/11. It’s unbelievable. Here’s a country which fails to realise, or shall I say does not want to realise, that it has sown the wind by provoking the terror organisations, and they will reap the whirlwind. For Malik, the "evidence" provided by India against Saeed was "mere information". The ignorant minister is advised to open his eyes and ears to listen to the anti-India venom spitted by Saeed openly in Pakistan.
Malik did not stop here. According to him, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia, was an operative of an elite Indian intelligence agency.
“We are also puzzled. Abu Jundal was a known criminal… He was an agent of Indian intelligence agency. He himself is saying. We are not saying. We have seen records,” Malik said during an interaction with reporters. Ridiculous! Stop attributing your acts to us.
You don’t have any right to equate Mumbai terror attacks with Babri mosque demolition. It will be great if Malik, being Pakistan’s home minister, takes care of blasphemy killings, sectarian conflicts, religious violence taking place in his country. Keep your bizarre comments with yourself.
India and Pakistan have a complex relationship, but there`s no point getting all bitter and twisted about it. However, for Pakistan, it is something hard to understand. The credibility of Islamabad is so much in danger that even the US did not take the risk of informing it before carrying out its operation against Osama bin Laden. Indian officials should be lauded for not giving a joint statement with the visiting Malik. But it is not enough. Pakistan`s diversionary tactics should not be tolerated by India at all. Malik should not have been here to spur off controversies. His could have been a fruitful visit, had he intended to.
India needs to ponder over whether the dialogue with Pakistan should be continued in the wake of Islamabad’s unresponsiveness towards New Delhi’s concerns. Spending our time, money and energy on the visits of such ministers from our neighbouring country is just not worth it.