M A I N   N E W S

Sorry Mumbai happened: PM
Says attacks aimed at destabilising country, asks Pak to do more
Faraz Ahmad and Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 11
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today offered an apology to the nation over the terrorist attacks on Mumbai on November 26.

Concluding the day-long debate over the government resolution unanimously passed by Lok Sabha, he said: “On behalf of the government, I would like to apologise to our people for the fact that these dastardly acts could not be prevented.”

Today’s debate was marked by unusual sobriety and restrains both by Opposition and treasury benches, who largely avoided scoring debating points, and instead projected a picture of a nation united against external onslaught. Leader of Opposition L.K Advani set the mood earlier in the day by rising to support the proposed resolution.

Singh said: “The forces behind these attacks wanted to destabilise our secular polity, create communal discord and undermine our country’s economic and social progress.”

Laying down the blueprint of the UPA government’s plan to tackle terrorism, he said: “We have to work at three levels. First, we have to galvanise the international community into dealing sternly and effectively with the epicentre of terrorism, which is located in Pakistan. The infrastructure of terrorism has to be dismantled permanently. This is for the good of the entire world community, including the well being of the people of Pakistan.”

He also called upon the world community to rally round India to join this fight against terror saying: “The political will of the international community must be translated into concrete and sustained action on the ground. It is time for the international community to squarely confront the challenge of terrorism. The use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy is no longer acceptable. There should be no double standards in the global fight against terrorism.”

Expressing satisfaction with the latest UN sanctions against LeT and Jamaat-ud Dawa, the Prime Minister said: “I am happy that the United Nations has taken the step today to put sanctions on four individuals of the LeT, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and on the front organisations under which the LeT was operating such as the Jamaat-ud-Daawa. This is the kind of purposeful action that we believe should be pursued in a sustained manner by the world community to ensure that the entire infrastructure of terror is dismantled.”

The prime Minister argued that: “The world community must be convinced that action by Pakistan against the brutal perpetrators of these crimes against humanity will be effective and will be sustained over time.”

Meanwhile, the resolution condemning the terrorist attack noted: “This outrage follows acts of terror committed since the beginning of this year in various places across India and on the Indian embassy in Kabul.”

It described LeT as a terrorist organisation “that has continued to operate and launch terrorist attacks against India,” and pronounced: “The government’s declaration to review circumstances leading up to the attacks on Mumbai and to take further measures as may be necessary to safeguard national security.”

However, this did not seem to fully satisfy the BJP because in Rajya Sabha a strident and virulent Arun Shourie demanded on its behalf both eyes for an eye a jaw for a tooth in retaliation against Mumbai terror attack. As the first BJP speaker, Shourie said the government should go with full force to win over the proxy war unleashed by Pakistan. “Not an eye for any eye, but both eyes for one eye and a whole jaw for a tooth,” Shourie demanded.



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