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Pak terrorist infrastructure threat to world: Pranab
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 22
India is not closing the option of striking at militant camps across the border if Pakistan fails to deliver on its promise to crush terrorist groups operating on its soil. As India put the composite dialogue process with Islamabad on hold, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today asserted that the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan was the greatest danger to peace and security of the entire civilised world. He unequivocally told Islamabad that New Delhi would take all necessary measures to deal with the situation arising from Pakistan’s refusal to cooperate in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack.

The external affairs ministry summoned its nearly 150 ambassadors and high commissioners from all over the world here for a three-day meeting to brief them on the situation arising from the November 26 terror attack on Mumbai and how Pakistan was trying to hoodwink the international community by taking half-hearted measures against terrorist groups operating on its soil.

Addressing the meeting, Mukherjee warned Pakistan that India was keeping all its options open. “India expects Pakistan to fulfil its commitments on dismantling the terror infrastructure. It has to be dismantled permanently. Terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan is dangerous to peace and security of entire world.”

Demanding that major world powers do more to tackle terrorism, he said the current effort by the global community was not enough. Blaming Pakistan for supporting terror groups, the External Affairs Minister said, “Pakistan has unfortunately resorted to the policy of denial and is shifting the blame and responsibility. Elements within Pakistan still continue to use terrorists as an instrument of state policy.”

“We have so far acted with utmost restraint. We hope that international community will use its influence to urge Pakistan to take effective action,” he said.

Mukherjee, however, warned that ultimately India would decide how to tackle Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. “Pakistan’s response so far has demonstrated their earlier tendency to resort to a policy of denial and to seek to deflect and shift the blame and responsibility.”

Meanwhile, sources here said India was keeping all its options on the table but would not disclose what New Delhi proposed to do in the face of Pakistan’s defiant attitude to act against terrorist groups. “Nobody is going to say anything on the options being considered…no time-frame could either be given in this regard.”

The sources said India had made certain demands of Pakistan and would want the neighbouring country to act on them. “We want to prevent the recurrence of a Mumbai-like terrorist attack as also that the perpetrators of the Mumbai strike face Indian justice.”

Noting that Islamabad had merely done a flip-flop before going into the denial mode in the wake of the Mumbai attack, they said it was time for Islamabad to prove its sincerity on dealing with terror and “if they (Pakistan) don’t act, there will have to be consequences.”

Observing that the situation in 2008 was entirely different from the one that existed in after the December 2001 terrorist attack on Parliament, the sources said at that time it was only Gen Pervez Musharraf with whom India had to deal. “Today we are dealing with a fragmented Pakistan where there are multiple centres of power.”

Confirming that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had masterminded the Mumbai attack, the sources pointed out that the terrorist group had never carried out any attack in Pakistan and its links with certain elements in the Pakistani establishment were well known. The sources wondered why Pakistan could not hand over Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar to India, which was its obligation under international laws even if there was no extradition treaty between India and Pakistan.




Mulford, PC share info
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 22
Home Minister P Chidambaram and the US Ambassador David C Mulford met here today. Mulford had called on the Home Minister following Washington's offer to share information and collaborate with New Delhi following the Mumbai terror attack. The meeting at North Block lasted about half-an-hour, official sources said. The US embassy confirmed the meeting, however, refused to give out details.

The FBI has already questioned Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Lashkar-e-Taiba militant involved in the November 26 strikes, to ascertain his role and those of his handlers in Pakistan.



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