Mumbai/Allahabad: BJP ally Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden visit to Pakistan will lead to effective action against cross-border terrorism as well as terror masterminds like Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
"Will Dawood Ibrahim be given to India after today's meeting (between Modi and Sharif)? If this happens, we welcome this visit," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said in Mumbai. He said it will welcome Modi's visit to Lahore if it leads to handing over of Dawood to India and warned against engaging in talks with a country that is "dangerous" and promotes terrorism. Sena said Modi's surprise visit to Pakistan does not appear to be a sudden decision and wondered if the Prime Minister's own party, BJP, will be able to digest this brand of diplomatic push with the neighbouring country.
"The Prime Minister suddenly decides to go to Lahore. Will this be digested by BJP? There is nothing wrong in PMs talking to their counterparts in other countries but is Pakistan a country with which dialogue is possible? I do not think that the meeting (between Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif) was sudden because such meets don't just happen like that," Raut said. "It is not a crime for PMs to talk to PMs of other countries. In the past too, Prime Ministers, including Atalji (Bihari Vajpayee) had gone to Pakistan. But has anything changed in all these years?" he said.
Raut said if the neighbouring country decides to hand over Dawood, the dreaded gangster and alleged mastermind of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts who is said to be in Pakistan, the visit by Modi will be welcomed by Sena. "Tomorrow is the birthday of India's biggest enemy Dawood Ibrahim. News reports say Nawaz Sharif's Ministers, Members of Parliament, Army and ISI officials and cricketers will attend the birthday celebration. What does this (meeting) mean then?" he said.
Asked if Sena will take up the issue of NDA allies not being taken into confidence before Modi's visit to Lahore, Raut said "this is an international issue." "We cannot have any talks with this dangerous country that promotes terrorism. Only yesterday, 13 people were injured in cross-border firing by Pakistan. How do we talk with Pakistan then?" Raut questioned. VHP international working president Pravin Togadia said in a statement issued in Allahabad that "hatever may be the reasons behind the Prime Minister's surprise visit to Lahore, we hope that his tour of Pakistan leads to effective action by the neighboring country against terrorists operating from their soil." "Pakistan is also the land where 1993 Mumbai serial blasts accused and underworld Dawood Ibrahim has been hiding for more than two decades.
The neighboring country has so far been in a state of denial in this regard. "We hope that our dashing and dynamic PM Modiji's intervention will bring about a radical change", Togadia said. He said "we also sincerely hope that Modiji will compel Pakistan to take effective action against Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi both of whom have been roaming scot-free in the neighboring country despite their involvement in the dastardly terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008.