Routine for Pakistan to come up with farcical actions prior to important meetings: MEA on Lakhvi sentencing

India today said that the United Nations proscribed entities and designated terrorists act as proxies for Pakistani establishment to fulfill its anti-India agenda. MEA Spokesman Anurag Srivastava today said, it is for the international community to hold Pakistan to account and ensure that it takes credible action against terror groups, terror infrastructure and individual terrorists.

On a query on Pakistan court’s 15-year jail sentence to LeT terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Mr Srivastava said, the timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of the Asia Pacific Joint Group, APJG meeting and next Financial Action Task Force, FATF plenary meeting next month. He said, it has become routine for Pakistan to come up with such farcical actions prior to important meetings.

On a query on UNSC Taliban Sanctions Committee, the MEA Spokesman said, India began its two-year tenure at the UN Security Council as a non-Permanent Member on the first of this month. He said, during the tenure, India will be guided by a commitment to promote responsible and inclusive solutions to international peace and security, a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system and a world view anchored in our ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Mr Srivastava said, with regard to Afghanistan, India and Afghanistan as contiguous neighbours share a natural historical relationship and the strategic partnership and long-term commitment to the development of Afghanistan reflects this time-tested partnership. He said, India has invested heavily in peace and development in Afghanistan and it support all efforts to bring peace and stability there. The Spokesman said, India’s position on the peace process has also been articulated. He said, the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. Mr Srivastava said, as an an important stakeholder, India is looking forward to work towards a peaceful, prosperous, sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan. 

On a question on Line of Actual Control, LAC, Mr Srivastava said, the latest round of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination, WMCC was held on 18th of last month December. He said, the two sides have agreed to hold the next round of Senior Commanders meeting and are in constant communication through diplomatic and military channels in this regard. The Spokesman said, in the meantime, both sides have maintained communication at the ground level to avoid any misunderstandings and misjudgments even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements to restore peace and tranquility.

On another query on the issue of Indian sailors stranded in Chinese waters, Mr Srivastava said, Indian Embassy in Beijing is continuously following up the issue with relevant Chinese authorities. He said, Indian Ambassador has again personally taken up this issue with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and requested early approval for crew change for Indian crew members aboard two ships M V Jag-Anand and M V Anastasia. The Ministry is also in regular contact on this issue with the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. The Spokesman said, in view of China’s strict COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention measures as well as various travel restrictions in place, the Chinese authorities have outlined detailed steps to ensure the smooth movement of new crew to China to effect crew change. He said, these steps have to be complied by the concerned shipping companies. With regard to the request of exploring alternative modes of crew change at sea, The Spokesman said, this possibility has also been taken up by with Chinese authorities, who have indicated that the details for this option are being worked out. He said, we are awaiting these details from Chinese authorities. Mr Srivastava said, we will continue to remain in touch with various relevant Chinese authorities as well as shipping companies to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the crew are taken care of and that crew changes can be effected at the earliest.

On a query on Vaccine Cooperation, the Spokesman said, India has been at the forefront of the global response in this common fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, India sees international cooperation in this field, particularly with its neighbours, as its duty. Mr Srivastava said, in our neighbourhood, we have already provided medicines and other essential supplies. He said, we have held training sessions for experts from these countries on vaccine-related issues. 

On a query on H1B Visa, Mr Srivastava said, we have taken note of the recent proclamations of the US Government extending by three more months the current suspension of entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants to the United States of America. He said, India is engaged with the U.S. Government for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimize inconvenience to Indian nationals in the U.S. or those proposing to travel to the U.S. for bonafide reasons, including the movement of Indian professionals. The MEA Spokesman said, people-to-people relations are a vital part of the partnership between India and the U.S. He said, there is recognition in the U.S. of the fact that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth of the U.S. economy and helped the U.S. retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage.

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