Amid concerns over Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik sharing the dais with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and demands for revoking his passport, the external affairs ministry yesterday said if it receives a request for impounding Malik’s passport it would “act on it”.
Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the passport was given to Malik, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), after getting a “no objection” from other Indian ministries and agencies.
“When violation (of provisions of passport) is indicated... when it is brought to our notice, we will act,” he said, adding that the government would act with Malik “as fit of a citizen of India”.
The BJP has demanded that Malik’s passport be revoked for sharing the dais with LeT founder Hafiz Saeed at a rally held to protest the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in Islamabad on Sunday.
Akbaruddin said India has raised with Pakistan the issue of bringing to justice Saeed, “the evil mastermind of the Mumbai attacks”.
“Hafiz Saeed continues to pour vitriol on India...he is a fit case to bring to justice and we will do so,” he added. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the matter of Malik pertains to the home ministry and “I am sure they will take appropriate steps. When they do, they will inform us.”
BJP president Rajnath Singh said the government should “seriously” take cognizance of Malik sharing the public dais with Saeed. “The government should seriously take cognizance of this. It’s not a small issue. I expect this much from the government,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said it was the home ministry’s mistake to allow Malik to go to Pakistan and the party would raise the issue on all forums. Malik has said that Saeed was on the stage for 10 minutes and they did not exchange any words.
‘Home ministry to decide steps concerning Malik’
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid yesterday said the home ministry will take appropriate steps concerning Yasin Malik. “The home minister has already made a statement. The matter pertains to the home ministry. I’m sure they will take appropriate steps. When they do, they will inform us,” Khurshid told a TV news channel. He said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said he would apply his mind and have the matter looked into.