India on Friday slammed Pakistan over reports that former UN-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar participated in an event hosted by that country's mission in Afghanistan, saying this was not new as Pakistan not only harbours terror outfits, but also encourages them.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India hopes that such participation in public events by a former UN-designated terrorist would not go unnoticed.
Asked about reports that Pakistan got Hekmatyar to speak at an event of a Pakistani mission in Afghanistan, he said, "We have seen the media reports of the participation of the former UN-designated terrorist in an event organised by the government of Pakistan. This is nothing new, Pakistan not only harbours terror outfits, but also encourages them."
In 2017, the United Nations removed Afghan warlord Hekmatyar from its list of designated terrorists, lifting the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo imposed on the insurgent leader who signed a peace pact with the Afghan government.
On the Afghan peace process and the Afghanistan government's decision to release 400 Taliban prisoners, Srivastava said, "We have taken note of the development."
"As far as India is concerned, we strongly support peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. We also support the intra-Afghan negotiations," he said.
To a separate question on whether the Indian mission has congratulated Kamala Harris, whose father is from Jamaica and mother an Indian, on being chosen as the running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Srivastava said, "In general we would not like to comment on the electoral process of any other country."
On the Kerala gold smuggling case, he said the matter is under investigation of the NIA and the MEA is extending all necessary facilitations for the investigations.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)