Days after being blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council, Pakistan based terrorist leader Abdul Rehman Makki has released a video denying any links with Al-Qaeda or Islamic State.
In the video, the deputy chief of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who is serving multiple sentences in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan’s Lahore, alleged that his listing was based on “disinformation and hearsay” spread by the Indian government.
Makki was jailed in 2019 along with his brother-in-law, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and other top brass of the Jamaat ud Daawa (JuD) and LeT.
Makki, in the video, says that his connections with Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abdullah Azam are based on “propaganda reports” and he’s never met these people.
However, Makki did not mention the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Makki claimed he considers the views and actions of Al-Qaeda and ISIS opposite of his own beliefs and denounces all kinds terrorism and violence perpetrated by them. However, he said, he believes in the “in the principal position of the Pakistani government regarding Kashmir.”
The terror leader lamented that the UNSC blacklisted him without a fair opportunity to respond to allegations or hearing his point of view.
He denied allegations against him for being a faculty member of Islamic University Islamabad in the 1980s where he was accused of meeting Al-Qaeda leaders or Afghan commanders
He said that he had not studied or taught at Islamic university and had never had any contact with Abdullah Azam, Ayman Al Zawahiri or Bin Laden.
The UNSC on Monday blacklisted Makki under its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.
Makki, 68, is the brother-in-law of LeT founder and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
“On 16 January 2023, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities approved the addition of the entry specified below to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2610 (2021) and adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,” the global body had said in a statement.
The statement by the 1267 committee added that Makki has held leadership positions within LeT and Jamaat–ud–Dawa (JuD).
The committee said the LeT has been responsible for or had involvement in prominent attacks, including the Red Fort Attack in which six terrorists stormed the Red Fort on December 22, 2000, and opened indiscriminate fire on the security forces present.
India had pushed a bid in the UN last year to blacklist Makki but the proposal was blocked by China.
Makki had already been blacklisted by the US and India under their respective anti-terror laws.
The terror leader is believed to be a close confidante of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and is accused of raising funds and recruiting youth for planning and carrying out terror attacks in India, especially in the Kashmir region.
Canadian PM Trudeau wants to work constructively with India, says Canada shared credible allegations with New Delhi weeks ago
India has repeatedly denied claims of receiving any intel regarding the allegations from Canada before Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Monday revealing them.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday asserted that Canada shared credible allegations that the Indian government may have been involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar weeks ago, according to reports.
The Canadian Prime MInister added that his country wants to work constructively with India and hope that New Delhi engages with them so that they can get to the bottom of this very serious matter. Meanwhile, India has repeatedly denied claims of receiving any intel regarding the allegations from Canada before Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Monday revealing them.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that there was a potential link between an Indian government agent and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force, who was gunned down in Surrey in June. Justin Trudeau made the allegations in the Canadian Parliament.
India has debunked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement deeming the allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada as both absurd and motivated. Issuing a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that they have seen and rejected the statement made by the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament. It added that they also rejected the statement made by their Foreign Minister.
After the allegations by PM Trudeau, the Canadian government expelled a top Indian diplomat. In a tit for tat move, New Delhi also expelled a Canadian diplomat. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also claimed that the Indian High Commission and consulates are facing security threats in Canada and therefore cannot process visa applications temporarily.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was among India’s most-wanted terrorists, carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. He was fatally gunned down by two unidentified assailants outside a gurdwara in Surrey, a province of British Columbia in Canada, on June 18, according to reports.
India-Canada row: No special exemption to India, says US NSA Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
The United States on Thursday affirmed that it is in constant communication with India and Canada amid increasing diplomatic tensions between both the countries. The diplomatic standoff broke out after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Speaking on the matter, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the US will be in contact with India at the highest level. He added that it is a matter of concern for them and they are taking it seriously. He asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
He underlined that there is not some special exemption for actions like this. He added that regardless of the country, they will stand up and defend their basic principles. In addition, he affirmed that the US will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.
Jake Sullivan further dismissed reports that the US’s desire to strengthen ties with India would constrain its ability to voice concerns about the allegations. He asserted that the Joe Biden administration took Canada’s allegations seriously and it was in constant contact with Ottawa.
He also noted that the US have deep concerns about the allegations and that they would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. Meanwhile, New Delhi outrightly rejected Canada’s allegation as absurd and motivated. In a tit for tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case, New Delhi expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
On Thursday, India asked Canada to take action against terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil. Furthermore, India also suspended visa services for Canadians, as the diplomatic standoff over Nijjar’s killing pushed their ties to an all-time low.
Canadian High Commission asks Centre to ensure safety, security of its diplomats, staff in India
The High Commission affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients.
Amidst rising tensions between India and Canada, the Canadian High Commission on Thursday asserted that some of its diplomats have received threats on social media. It urged India to provide security for Canadian diplomats and consular officers in the country. The High Commission further revealed that it has decided to temporarily adjust its staff presence in the country.
The High Commission also affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients. It added that in the view of the current environment where tensions have heightened, they are taking action to ascertain the safety of their diplomats. It further underlined that Global Affairs Canada is continuously supervising the safety and security of their missions and personnel as they maintain a strict security protocol to respond to any events.
On the other hand, the Vancouver Police Department has tightened security outside India’s Consulate amid planned threats from proscribed group Sikhs for Justice after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that Indian government agents were responsible for the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Const. Tania Visintin, the department’s media relations officer, noted that Vancouver police are not aware of any specific threats to Indian consular officials, but have increased police presence at the downtown Vancouver consulate.
In a shocking claim on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Nijjar. Following this, both India and Canada have been engaged in a diplomatic standoff. Earlier on Thursday, India suspended visa services for Canadian nationals until further notice owing to operation reasons.
In a meeting that was held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly conveyed strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada, promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.