No talks till Dawood and Hafiz Saeed are handed over, demands BJP

New Delhi, Aug. 10 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded that the Congress-led UPA Government should suspend talks with Pakistan until they hand over Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed-two 'most wanted' people to India.

"The question that the Bharatiya Janata Party has been raising is that Dawood Ibrahim was in Pakistan, taking asylum under the Pakistan Army and the ISI. Pakistan has accepted it today. Now, there is no scope for any doubt. Immediately, the Government of India should put pressure on Pakistan saying that talks will only commence if Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed are handed over to us," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The BJP has been strongly against pursuing talks with Paksitan after their Army ambushed six soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) on August 6 in Poonch District of Jammu and Kashmir.

Hussain maintained that the UPA-led Government should use Pakistan's admittance of giving shelter to Dawood Ibrahim, and pressurize them to hand the don over to India immediately.

"First, Pakistan should improve themselves, hand over Dawood Ibrahim, then we can see about talks. Hafiz Saeed who was responsible for the attacks on Mumbai is openly and publicly threatening India. It is not Pakistan's status, and yet Hafiz Saeed is taking shelter there and issuing threats to India," Hussain said.

"Thus, the Government of India should pressurize Pakistan. The whole world should put pressure on Pakistan that Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim should be handed over to India. Only after that there is any point of any dialogue. Till they don't get a strong message from India, Pakistan's morale will not be down. The time has come now that Pakistan's politician has admitted that Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan, why isn't the Government of India putting pressure?" Hussain added.

According to reports, Shahryar Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy for improving relations with India, said on Friday that Dawood was in Pakistan but has been "chased out" and could be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

While speaking to reporters at a pre-launch event for his book "Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan" in London, Shahryar Khan said: "Dawood (Ibrahim) was in Pakistan, but I believe he was chased out of Pakistan. If he is in Pakistan, he should be hounded and arrested. We cannot allow such gangsters to operate from the country," said Khan. The former diplomat added that if Dawood was still in Pakistan he would have been arrested by now.

However, he later told an Indian television channel that he had never known where Dawood lived and his earlier statement was just reflecting what the Pakistani media has been reporting in the past.

Additionally, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a high alert for New Delhi and all other metropolitan cities after 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, who roams freely in Pakistan, had issued an anti-India statement on Eid.

The Indo-Pak relationship has been extremely strained since August 6, when the Pakistani Army intruded into Indian territory to kill five jawans along the LoC.

Though the Pakistan Army has denied the involvement of its troops in the incident, the Government has promised that a strong statement will be issued against Pakistan in light of the killings.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had publicly expressed his desire to mend relations with India, was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New York in the month of September. However, Tuesday morning's incident along the LoC has caused doubts over whether India will pursue talks with Paksitan at this stage.

Shahnawaz Hussain warned that India should not be duped into falling for Pakistan politician's statement, as it is an old strategy.

"We should not be duped by Nawaz Sharif's statements. Are there two Pakistans? One ruled by Nawaz Sharif and the other by the Pakistan Army and ISI? One by Dawood and other by Hafiz Saeed? Paksitan has become a den for India's enemies, who are scheming against India sitting there," Hussain added. (ANI)