M A I N   N E W S

Blasts have frozen peace with Pak: PM
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 14
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today virtually put the peace process with Pakistan in cold storage. In Mumbai to obtain a first hand account of the serial bomb blasts which rocked the metropolitan city on Tuesday last, the usually mild-mannered Prime Minister used strong words to hit out at Pakistan.

“In 2004 Pakistan had solemnly given an assurance that Pakistani territory would not be used to promote, encourage, train and abet terrorist elements directed against India. That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process or other processes can make any progress,” the Prime Minister said. He also warned that relations between India and Pakistan would become cold following the serial bomb blasts.

“Relations with Pakistan can be affected. In the face of such events happening, it becomes very difficult to maintain normal relations with the country,” Dr Manmohan Singh said.

The Prime Minister went on to say that terrorists operating in India were doing so with help from across the border. “The terrorists were supported by elements from across the border without which they cannot hit with such an effect,” he said.

The Prime Minister, who began his tour of Mumbai by visiting those injured in the blasts, said the attack was “a desperate act by desperate people” and was designed to break the backbone of the people of Mumbai.

He said both Central and state governments would have to work at destroying terror networks popping up all over the country.

He also confirmed the worst fears of the people of Mumbai regarding the terrorist modules being active in the city despite the heightened security dragnet spread all over the city.

He said the discovery of large quantities of RDX and other explosives in parts of Maharashtra over the past several months was an indication that something big was being planned.

Dr Manmohan Singh, however, said the terrorists always had an advantage in such situations due to the element of surprise since micro-level information would not be easy to obtain.

The Prime Minister promised that the government would tighten security by installing sophisticated surveillance gadgets at vital installations. “India would have to upgrade its intelligence inputs and technology available to the security forces to crack down upon terrorists.”

During his visit, the Prime Minister also reviewed the security situation in Maharashtra. He had confabulations with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Earlier, the Prime Minister visited Sion and KEM Hospitals where senior health officials briefed him about the treatment being given to the blast victims.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Maharashtra Governor S.M Krishna, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and top state government officials.





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