New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday asked Pakistan to raise the issue of state-sponsored terrorism during the seventh SAARC Home/Interior Ministers meeting in Islamabad.
"Whether it is Udhampur, whether it is Gurdaspur, whether it is Pompore or whether it is other attack including Pathankot. All these issues need to be raised. State sponsored terrorism of Pakistan needs to be checked. Their Home Minister must raise these issues along with other SAARC nations," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Surjewala said Pakistan is exporting terror into India every day, adding that Islamabad has the active abetment protection and active role played by various agencies like the ISI and Pakistan military.
"Modi ji went especially to meet Nawaz Sharif and attended marriage celebrations. After that, we had Pathankot terror attack. We called a committee from Pakistan operatives of the dreaded ISI. But Pakistan never gave us access to interrogate terrorists, who were operating under active protection from Pakistani soil," he added.
Meanwhile, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh today left for Pakistan to attend the seventh SAARC Home/Interior Ministers meeting in Islamabad. Singh, in his speech at the two-day meeting, is expected to raise the issue of Pakistan`s support to terror groups operating in India and ask Islamabad to check Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and other groups based in that country.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had already made it clear there would be no bilateral meeting between the Home Minister and the Pakistani leaders.
The visit comes in the backdrop of growing strain in the bilateral relations after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of a militant`s killing on July 8.
At the 13th SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005, the Heads of State decided that the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers would meet annually preceded by a meeting of the Interior/Home Secretaries to strengthen cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism, which they agreed was a challenge to all states and a threat to humanity, and could not be justified on any grounds.
The first meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers was held in Dhaka on May 11, 2006, followed by a meeting in New Delhi in 2007.