Pak militants continue anti-India rant as Rajnath Singh lands in Islamabad amid ‘presidential security’
As Pakistan accorded Home Minister Rajnath Singh a ‘presidential-level’ security on his visit to the country, activists of various religious and jihadi outfits protested against his visit to Islamabad, accusing him of “killing civilians” in Kashmir.
Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin led a protest against the visit of Rajnath Singh outside the venue of SAARC Home Ministers’ Conference.
Addressing a crowd outside the protest venue, Salahuddin said, “Today on the land of Islamabad, a predator-like wolf Rajnath Singh has come, on whose orders the 7.5 lakh strong Indian Army is busy in making armless Kashmiris bleed.”
“We are protesting because government of Pakistan should have respected the feelings of armless and wounded Kashmiris,” said Salahuddin, who is responsible for several terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a direct address to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Salahuddin said, “Pakistani flag was being waved at the funeral of Burhan Wani (Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed by security forces last month), Pakistani flag was being waved at his grave. Mr Nawaz Sharif, in return of that, you are providing red-carpet welcome to Rajnath Singh, who murdered Burhani Wani and more than 65 other Kashmiris.”
“This amounts to rubbing salt into the wounds of bleeding Kashmiris,” he added.
Activists of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujahideen, United Jihad Council (UJC) and other such group attended the protest to denounce Singh's trip to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) ministerial conference being hosted by Pakistan.
Along with Syed Salahuddin, who is also chief of UJC, local leaders of other jihadi outfits were seen during the protest.
Various religious and jihadi outfits in Pakistan are opposed to Singh's visit as they held him responsible for the unrest in Indian Kashmir.
Forty nine people have been killed in Kashmir in clashes since Indian security forces killed Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
Earlier, Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed warned the Pakistan government that Singh's presence in Islamabad may create "unrest" among Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis in the face of scores of killings in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, in the wake of protests, the Pakistan government is learnt to have decided to give “presidential-level security” — its highest security — to Rajnath Singh during his stay in Islamabad.
The ‘presidential-level security’ means deployment of about 200 personnel, including commandos from Pakistan’s elite Special Forces. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to discuss security arrangements.
Normally, a visiting Home Minister gets ministerial-level security. But, New Delhi asked Islamabad for ‘elevation of Singh’s security.
Singh will stay at a luxury hotel in Pakistan’s high security zone where the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and diplomatic enclave are located within a kilometre’s radius. The SAARC Home Ministers meeting is also likely to take place at the same venue, which has a three-layer security.