Manish Tewari calls Pak action on Hafiz Saeed ‘eye wash’

Washington: Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari has termed as an “eye wash” the detention of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and asked it to hand over the JuD chief to India.

“It (Pakistan’s action) is a mere eye wash. If Pakistanis are really serious, they need to hand Hafiz Saeed to India,” Tewari told a group of reporters. Responding to a question, he said there are enough strong evidence against Saeed both in public domain and those provided by India to Pakistan through official channels.

“It is essentially an eye wash,” he said citing similar experiences of the previous UPA government with other terrorists based in Pakistan who were temporarily detained, but were released later on.

Tewari said that the US needs to pressurise Pakistan in order to solve the problem of terrorism. “Either the US comes down heavily on Pakistan for not taking action against terrorist groups or being selective in its approach, or the democratic dispensation in Pakistan reigning in ISI and its elements.” he said.

“The third way is that India starts playing the Pakistani game (proxy war). But for any democratic country like India, the moral question is whether responsible and mature democracies should use non-state actors each to meet its national security objectives,” he added.

According to him, the successive Indian governments have given a thought about it but concluded that “responsible government should not use non-state actors to serve its national goals”. On US President Donald Trump’s comments that America would be willing to help India and Pakistan resolve its disputes, he said “It is a no go area”.

The Congress leader also termed this as a “red line” which no Indian government will ever contemplate. Maintaining that it is too early to comment on the Indo-US relationship under the Trump administration, Tewari said the seriousness of the White House on having strong ties would be evident through five indicators.

“First being the US position on Afghanistan. Second what is their attitude on Pakistan,” he said adding the optimal outcome from India’s standpoint would be Trump Administration getting hard on Pakistan to dismantle terror camps there.

The other three indicators are the US policies towards China, engagement in the Asia Pacific region and the attitude towards global trading regimes, he added.

“Policy makers in Delhi would be looking at these four-five things,” Tewari said, adding that developments on these fronts are being carefully watched in New Delhi. He believed that there is a “fundamental incompatibility” between Modi’s Make in India, and Trump’s America First policy.