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Mumbai Offensive
Pak not doing enough: India
* Pranab seeks help of China, Saudis
* PM meets defence chiefs
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
With Pakistan refusing to fall in line on the issue of terrorism, the PM today discussed the country's defence preparedness with service chiefs while External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee asked China and Saudi Arabia, two key allies of Pakistan, to impress upon Islamabad the necessity to cooperate in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack. As Pakistan created war hysteria by mobilising its troops along India's border, a flurry of activity was witnessed in the corridors of power in New Delhi with Manmohan Singh getting a first-hand account of the readiness of the Indian armed forces from the chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister is understood to have taken stock of the possible conventional military threat scenarios and the counter-measures that the three services had put in place along the border.

This was the second time within a week that Singh had a detailed meeting with the three service chiefs in the wake of rising tension in relations with Pakistan. India, meanwhile, stepped up the diplomatic initiative to convince the world community that Pakistan was taking only cosmetic measures to deal with terrorists operating on its soil, which would in no way help in combating the menace. The external affairs minister held a “very good” meeting with the visiting Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal at which he apprised the latter of the chill in India-Pakistan ties in the wake of the audacious November 26 Mumbai attack.

According to official sources, the Saudi minister appreciated the restraint exercised by India and described terrorism as an “evil” and “cancer”. He underlined that all countries needed to cooperate to “destroy” the scourge completely. Al-Faisal, who arrived here this morning for a brief visit, endorsed New Delhi’s view that there was need for urgent and transparent cooperation of all nations in ending terrorism. Mukherjee is believed to have impressed upon Al-Faisal the need for Saudi Arabia using its influence to ensure that those behind the Mumbai carnage in Pakistan are brought to justice at the earliest. Given the financial aid and subsidised oil it provides to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has always influenced major decisions made in Islamabad.

Yesterday, Mukherjee held telephonic conversations with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi, expressing New Delhi’s disappointment with the actions taken by Pakistan so far to deal with terrorists operating on its territory even after the Mumbai carnage. The Foreign minister also spoke to his Iranian counterpart today.

During the telephonic conversations last night, Mukherjee is believed to have told Rice and Yang that Pakistan was not doing enough against those behind the Mumbai carnage and that the US and China should put pressure on it to ensure that those responsible for the carnage are brought to justice. Rice is understood to have conveyed to Mukherjee that the US is keen to see that the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks are punished and is persuading Pakistan to act in concrete terms in this regard. Yang also said the perpetrators should be punished. Talking to reporters, Mukherjee said he would again urge Pakistan that instead of trying to divert attention from real issues, it should concentrate on fighting terrorism and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack.

“There is ample evidence available. The log book of the captured terrorist, inputs from satellite communications clearly show that elements in Pakistan carried out the attack,” he reiterated. Islamabad should stop creating war hysteria and concentrate on tracking down those behind the Mumbai attack.



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