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Manmohan accuses NDA of appeasing terrorists
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

26/11: Fifth suspect held, says Pak

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday announced the arrest of the fifth suspect in the Mumbai attacks, who facilitated finance for the terror strike. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, said Pakistan had arrested Karachi-based Shahid Jamil Riaz for facilitating monetary transactions. LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and other LeT operatives Zarar Shah, Abu al Qama and Hamad Amin Sadiq, are already in custody.

Malik said Pakistan’s probe into the Mumbai incident was continuing and another suspect, Riaz, had been arrested for facilitating monetary transactions in Karachi and planning the attacks. — PTI

Mumbai, April 13
In retaliation to the barbs aimed at him by BJP leader L K Advani, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his rival for the post of PM was weak in action who was "weeping in a corner" while the Babri Masjid was demolished by hoodlums.

Reading from a prepared statement, the Prime Minister pointed out that his government sent in commandos to flush out terrorists while Advani prevailed upon his junior colleague, Jaswant Singh to negotiate with those who hijacked the aircraft to Kandahar ten years ago.

"He has the unique ability to combine strength in speech with weakness in action," Singh said. "Mr Advani likes to call me a weak Prime Minister. I cannot help pointing out that when held to the fire during the Kandahar hijacking, the BJP's 'Iron Man' was quick to melt. He agreed to release the terrorists and subjected his Cabinet colleague Jaswant Singh to the humiliation of having to personally escort the terrorists to their safe haven," the Prime Minister said in his statement.

He further added that the three terrorists released by the NDA in the wake of the Kandahar hijacking were still promoting terror activities against India. "One of these was a dreaded terrorist who is the founder of Jaish-e-Mehmood. He is still active in promoting terrorist activities in our country," Singh said.

Regarding his own conduct, Singh said he let his performance speak for itself rather than resort to sloganeering. "I am not a sloganeer. I will readily concede that most of my opponents make more rousing speeches. They have more catchy phrases and may run better marketing campaigns. But unlike the NDA's prime ministerial candidate, I will not be found weeping in a corner while hoodlums tear down a centuries-old mosque. Nor will I be found wringing my hands in frustration while one of my chief ministers condones a pogrom targeted at minorities," Singh said.

The PM also pointed out that Advani had gone to Pakistan and praised that country’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah to the hilt. “And I will certainly not say things in Pakistan that offend every Indian and then abandon my stand when it becomes politically inconvenient within my party.”

“Mr Advani has the unique ability to combine strength in speech with weakness in action. This is not the kind of strength we need.” Singh also pointed out that terrorists had attacked Parliament when Advani was home minister and the country was under the rule of the NDA. Then the government could not even get an apology from Pakistan, Singh said.

He added his government took hard decisions while dealing with the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks. “When terrorists attacked in Mumbai in November and held a large number of people hostage, we did not not send our foreign minister to negotiate with them and concede their demands.We sent highly trained commandos that killed nine of them and captured one alive,” he said. This was the difference between the UPA and the NDA governments, he added.

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