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Terror bases in Pak still intact: India
Tribune News Service

"Recent fidayeen attacks in J&K ample proof.  — Nirupama Rao Foreign Secretary

New Delhi, January 17
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has asserted that terror infrastructure is still intact in Pakistan and the two recent fidayeen attacks in Jammu and Kashmir bear testimony to it.

Speaking to Karan Thapar during an interview for the CNN-IBN channel, Rao said terror has been an “instrument of state policy pursued by agencies within Pakistan.” She said India was watching all these developments with “great concern” in Kashmir, where militancy and violence is a longstanding phenomenon accompanied by the rhetoric (from the Pakistan side) against India.

“All the events you have seen over the last few days point to the basic and undeniable fact that the infrastructure of terrorism which operates out of Pakistan and territory under its control has not been dismantled and it continues to be directed against the Indian people,” she said.

Hinting at the possibility of Pakistani establishment providing assistance to such elements, she said: “I think the experience over the last two decades would make it very clear to us that this has been an instrument of state policy pursued by agencies within Pakistan.”

She also clearly disapproved of a recent rhetoric of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari like his father-in-law and first Prime Minister of Pakistan about a thousand-year war to liberate Kashmir, and said: “Rhetoric, militancy and violence, together they make a very combustible combination”.

About Pakistan’s claims of curbing terrorism, she said, more needs to be done. “Terrorism directed against India continues from territory under Pakistan control and from Pakistan. Look at what has been happening in Srinagar over the last few weeks,” she added.

“Look at the incidents of infiltration that have gone up despite the fact that this is cold weather. In winter, traditionally, we have not had so many incidents of infiltration, but those continue. They clearly point to the continuation of efforts directed against our territory, in order to foment violence in Kashmir,” said Rao. She denied that the US was keen on playing a mediatory role on issues concerning India and Pakistan.




‘Pattern to attacks on Indians’

The Foreign Secretary also expressed concern that only Indians were being targeted in a wave of violence in Australia and said she believed there was a “certain pattern of these attacks”.

“You have had one community targeted. You have had persons belonging to one community targeted. And these attacks have kept occurring. There has been a certain pattern of these attacks,” she said.

“What the Australians tell us is that you could attribute this to urban violence, opportunistic violence, but that racism could also be an element in this. So, let us see. The investigations are going on. But we are concerned that it is just this one community that has been targeted.”

There have been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia, causing an outcry in India and forcing the government to issue an advisory to students studying Down Under.

Two attacks proved fatal. The body of Ranjodh Singh, an Indian-born seasonal work contractor, was found on December 29. Then, accountancy graduate Nitin Garg was fatally stabbed in Melbourne on January 2. An Indian was also set on fire in Melbourne on January 9, while another Indian was assaulted at Coogee beach in Sydney on January 11. Rao said the Australian government had been sensitised to India’s concerns and had impressed upon them that they needed to do more to address the cause and bring the perpetrators to book to restore the climate of confidence and security among Indians living in Australia.

“We have been in close touch with the Australian government since these attacks began. And unfortunately there has been a spate of these attacks, violence directed against innocent and hapless,” she said. On the role of the media while covering the violent attacks, Rao said the press should keep things in context. “Let me say that the media feels the pulse of the people definitely and the people of India are concerned about the attacks that have happened in Australia. Having said that, I would also like to add that you have to place every reaction you make in the larger context,” she said.

(With inputs from IANS)



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