Arms sales to Pakistan like whiskey to an alcoholic: Menon

February 5th, 2009 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) Seeking to intensify international pressure on Pakistan over the Mumbai terror strikes, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon has asked the world to discontinue arms sale to Pakistan which is unrelated to anti-terror operations and underlined that any such aid is like “giving whiskey to an alcoholic”. Amid media reports suggesting that Pakistan’s internal probe is zeroing in on a Bangladesh link to the Mumbai terror attacks, Menon repeated that the strikes were planned and launched from Pakistan and underlined that the organisers were “creations of the ISI”.

“For India, a stable Pakistan at peace with itself is a desirable goal. We need a peaceful periphery in our own interest, and will work with all those in Pakistan and the international community who further that goal,” Menon told Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI), a leading French think tank, in Paris Wednesday.

“Given the fragile and unfinished nature of the polity beside us, there is much that the international community can do to help,” Menon said while underscoring that “the epicenter of international terrorism” lay in Pakistan.

“For instance, arms sales to Pakistan totally unrelated to the fight against terrorism or extremism are like whiskey to an alcoholic, a drug reinforcing an addiction, skewing the internal political balance, and making the consolidation of democracy more difficult,” he stressed.

“Those responsible for the Mumbai attacks follow an ideology that recognises no borders, and are known to be preparing attacks not only just in the neighbourhood but across the world,” he stressed.

Menon is in Paris for annual foreign office consultations between the two countries, official sources said here. Menon held talks with diplomatic adviser to French President Jean-David Levitte and senior French diplomats on a host of bilateral and global issues.

Nearly a month after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Pakistan’s official agencies were complicit in the Mumbai attacks, Menon pointed a finger at the ISI’s involvement in the attacks.

“In each case the perpetrators planned, trained and launched their attacks from Pakistan, and the organisers were and remain clients and creations of the ISI,” he said while alluding to the bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul and the Mumbai mayhem.

He also reiterated that there was no response from Pakistan to 26/11 dossier presented by India a month ago, a point reinforced in New Delhi by Home Minister P. Chidamabaram Thursday.

“Two months after the Mumbai attacks, and one month after we presented a dossier of evidence linking the attacks to elements in Pakistan, we still await a response from the Pakistani authorities, and prevarication continues,” Menon said.

He also drew the attention of the French to interlinked problems of “terrorism, clandestine nuclear proliferation, extremism and radicalism” that had their source in Pakistan.

He also linked the instability and violence in Afghanistan to “the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan”.

“For Afghanistan to regain peace, the roots of international terrorism in parts of Pakistan and its local sponsors will have to be eliminated,” he said.

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