Pakistan must act, not just give assurances: Mukherjee

December 16th, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Dec.16 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that Pakistan must act on the demands made by India with regard to the investigations in last month’’s terror attacks on Mumbai, and on the charges levelled by New Delhi thereof, rather than giving mere assurances.
Interacting with reporters here, Mukherjee said: “I have already said this in Parliament. Words (by Pakistan) must be followed up with action.”
“We expect that good sense will prevail and we expect that the assurances that are coming (from Pakistan) will translate into action. Because assurances are coming from established leadership of that country, we expect conducive atmosphere will prevail to act on the promises made,” Mukherjee added.
He reiterated that the Mumbai terror attacks should not be linked to the resolution of the Kashmir issue, as it was more to do with the spread of terrorism globally.
“We should not look at the issue through the prism of Indo-Pak relations or the prism of Kashmir,” he emphasized.
Mukherjee also praised the high voter turnout in the first five phases of the seven-stage Jammu and Kashmir assembly election, saying it reflected the locals faith in democracy.
“To my mind, it is an important development that voters have come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise” in the first five rounds, Mukherjee told reporters here.
The turnout was significantly higher compared to previous elections, Mukherjee said while congratulating the people of the state. He hoped the last two phases of the poll on December 17 and 24, would have a similar turnout.
Praising the achievements of the previous Congress-PDP regime before it was forced to quit before a motion of no-confidence was passed by the PDP, Mukherjee said that during its nearly six years in power, it had focussed aggressively on infrastucture and also taken historic like reopening the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and the Poonch-Rawalakote routes.
He also said that four of the five working groups set up on Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre had submitted their recommendations which were in various stages of implementation.
Meanwhile, in a separate though related development, Defence Minister AK Antony said that India is not planning to go to war with Pakistan, but added that Islamabad must be seen to be acting against terrorists functioning from its soil.
If it did not, a normalisation of relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours would be impossible, Antony added.
He also described as normal the troop deployment along the Indo-Pak border and replied in the negative about New Delhi’’s plans to call off the five-year-old ceasefire. (ANI)

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