India to Pakistan: No option closed, fulfil anti-terror pledge

December 22nd, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) In more tough talking against Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday said India had not “closed any options”, including a military conflict, and asked Islamabad to fulfil its anti-terror commitment. “If there will be any military conflict nobody declares it in media. We have kept all our options open,” Mukherjee replied when asked whether India and Pakistan were heading towards a showdown.

“To achieve that objective (to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack to book) we are not closing any options because our people have died,” Mukherjee said, indicating clearly that India will not shy away from a military strike, as speculated in a section of the media, if Pakistan does not deliver on its anti-terror pledge.

“We will expect from Pakistan to do whatever they have committed to do and fulfil their promises as a respectful member of the community of nations,” he said.

“No nation can shrug its responsibility to fulfil promises,” Mukherjee said after addressing nearly 130 heads of India’s missions abroad who have gathered in the Indian capital for a three-day conclave.

This is the first meeting of the heads of Indian missions across the world and is aimed at briefing envoys on leading diplomatic challenges in which India is expected to play a major role in days to come.

Although the conclave was planned months ago, the focus has shifted to terrorism and India’s strategy of dealing with Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks Nov 26-29 that left over 170 people dead.

The suicide bombing outside the Indian mission in Kabul in July in which an Indian diplomat and a military attaché were killed for the first time will figure prominently in the discussions.

“This conference is first ever we are having in the contemporary period. We are going through civil nuclear cooperation. We wanted to highlight what is expected of them (the mission heads),” Mukherjee said.

On Sunday, the minister said in Kolkata: “Pakistan should deliver results. Words must be followed by action.”

Speaking at another function in the West Bengal capital, Mukherjee said Pakistan should fulfil its commitment into to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities. “Fulfil your commitment. We are not asking for anything more. Like a civilised nation, dismantle the (terrorist) infrastructure and facilities available there.”

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