‘Ties to improve if Pak stops giving safe haven to terrorists’

Advani said India`s relations with Pak would improve if it stopped providing a safe haven to terrorists like Dawood and handed them over to New Delhi.

New Delhi: In the wake of 26/11 handler Abu Jundal`s extradition from Saudi Arabia, BJP leader L K Advani on Sunday said India`s relations with Pakistan would improve considerably if it stopped providing a safe haven to terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim and handed them over to New Delhi.

In his latest blog posting, he said he had flagged cross-border terrorism and similar issues with the visiting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani last week when the latter called on him.

"An even more distressing aspect of continuing Indo-Pak tension on the issue of terrorism is the safe haven Pakistan still provides to declared terrorists and absconders like Dawood Ibrahim. If taking a cue from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan can hand over Dawood Ibrahim to India, it can overnight change public perception in India about Pakistan," Advani said.

He recalled that during this interaction with Jilani, he also expressed concern that Pakistan had not sincerely followed the Vajpayee-Musharraf accord.

"I said to him that for us the greatest regret has been that the joint statement issued by Gen (Pervez) Musharraf and A B Vajpayee at Islamabad after the SAARC Conference affirming that Pakistan would not allow any part of its country or any area under its control to be used for terrorist operations against India has not been sincerely followed up," Advani said.

The Vajpayee-Musharraf accord was signed in Islamabad on January 6, 2004.

Advani said Jilani was "all-praise" for the NDA government`s earnest efforts to restore normalcy and goodwill between India and Pakistan.