M A I N   N E W S

Pak wants ‘evidence’ to fight terror
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, August 15
Pakistan today said it would be "unfortunate" if India allowed incidents of terrorism to undermine the peace process and suggested that it was not possible to cooperate with New Delhi "in the absence of evidence" about Pakistani involvement in terrorist acts in its eastern neighbour.

Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day address in which he asked Islamabad to take concrete steps to end cross-border terrorism in India, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said: "To allow terrorism to undermine this process would be very unfortunate."

"Pakistan is committed to fight terrorism. We are also committed to peace process with India. It is a process which requires sincerity and commitment by both sides. This is a process that is meant to resolve issues and disputes that has caused conflict, tensions and distrust in this region," she said.

Referring to Pakistan's cooperation with UK and US to unravel the Islamic militants' plot to blow up US-bound planes, she said such cooperation was possible when countries "trust and cooperate and share intelligence with each other."

"We cannot cooperate with any country which is in the habit of making allegations and which has a history of not cooperating with us. We have not received any evidence whatsoever in any terrorist act in India and it is not possible for Pakistan to offer any kind of cooperation in the absence of that," she said.

About BJP President Rajnath Singh's recent remarks calling for attacks against Pakistan and Bangladesh to dismantle terrorist camps, Aslam said: "These are irresponsible and dangerous statements. We have already rejected them. I do not think any sane person would even consider them."

She recalled a speech by President Pervez Musharraf at a function to mark Pakistan's independence day, in which he said the country cannot be threatened and coerced by such statements and would not allow anyone to come close to the Line of Control.

"The President was basically allaying fears that might have risen in Pakistan because leaders of some political parties in India also have been talking about hot pursuits, surgical strikes, pre-emptive action etc. We have made our position clear," she said.

"I do not think anyone worry about this. Our defence is strong, we do not think that anyone would think of such irresponsible action," she said. — PTI





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