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Boucher: Terror groups have origins in Pak
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 10
The United States’ Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher today said that terror groups responsible for attacks in India had ‘origin’ and ‘links’ in Pakistan.
Mr Boucher, however, did not take a position when asked whether these terror linkages were sponsored by Pakistan government.

For its part, the Government of India’s position is that it does not matter whether the terrorists operating in India are “free-lance”, or “good” or “bad” or who the sponsors are. New Delhi’s concern is that all terrorist activities aimed at India must stop completely and Islamabad must honour its January 6, 2004 commitment on not letting any part of Pakistan or territory being administered by Pakistan be used for terrorist activities against India.

New Delhi’s position is that the forthcoming Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks here (November 14-15) will provide a good opportunity to put Pakistan to test as Pakistani leaders and officials have been saying, publicly as well as to India, that Islamabad is willing to cooperate with the Indians on combating terrorism.

Mr Boucher made an interesting remark at a press conference here after his talks with the Indian officials. He said India had not told his country anything about Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism here and said the two neighbours ought to sort out their issues between themselves.

The remark is interesting because the US Ambassador here, Mr David C Mulford, had admitted at a press briefing that the Government of India had indeed shown evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in July 11 Mumbai blasts.

On Mumbai blasts, New Delhi’s stand is that it has “credible” evidence of the ISI’s involvement and it will be presented to the Pakistani Foreign Secretary in a guarded and phased manner. That is because the prosecution has not yet filed a charge sheet in the Mumbai blasts case before the designated trial court in Mumbai.

South Block also feels that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s pending visit to Pakistan will take place “in an appropriate atmosphere” and no dates have been set yet.

All issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek, will be taken up during the forthcoming Foreign Secretary-level talks.

A Government of India official, when asked to comment on Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri’s statement on Siachen, remarked: “I am very impressed if it means that Mr Kasuri has finally agreed to accept our conditions on settling the Siachen dispute.”

Mr Kasuri had said about 10 days ago that the two neighbours had reached a breakthrough on the Siachen dispute and it was up to the Indian leadership to show political will to seize the opportunity.



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