‘Angry’ India says ‘neighbouring territory’ was used for terror (Lead)

December 5th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Stepping up pressure on Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said India has been angered as “never before” at the Mumbai terror strikes and underlined that New Delhi and the international community have reached the “same conclusion” that the “territory of the neighbouring country” was used for perpetrating these attacks.”We expect the world community to recognise - and other countries have come to the same conclusion - that the territory of the neighbouring country has been used for perpetrating this crime,” Manmohan Singh said without directly naming Pakistan.

“It’s the obligation of all countries concerned that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to the book,” Manmohan Singh replied when asked what India proposed to do about the perpetrators of the Mumbai assault who were said to have come from Pakistan.

“We have told the world that the people of India have felt a sense of hurt and anger as never before due to the Mumbai terror strikes,” Manmohan Singh said a joint press conference after talks with visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

“That’s the message to everyone,” Manmohan Singh said while alluding to various world leaders, including US President George Bush, President-elect Barack Obama and Medvedev, who underlined solidarity with India in the wake of Mumbai attacks.

“We will wait for the outcome,” he said in response to a question on India’s response to Pakistan’s refusal to hand over the fugitives New Delhi suspects have been involved in major terror strikes in India, including the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks.

“We expect the international community to recognise that terrorism anywhere and everywhere constitutes a threat to world peace,” he added.

In a demarche served Dec 1, India made it clear that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks came from Pakistan and asked Islamabad to take “strong action” against those elements New Delhi suspects to be behind the blasts. Indian intelligence agencies are convinced without “a shadow of doubt” that the Mumabi massacre was managed by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and are zeroing on the list of ISI handlers who masterminded the terror strikes.

Suspicion has focused on Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group, which was one of the militant groups blamed for an an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.

Earlier in the day, Home Minister P. Chidamabaram also traced the source of terror to organizations in Pakistan.

“There is ample evidence to show that the source of the terrorist attack was clearly linked to organisations which have in the past been identified as being behind terrorist attacks in India,” Chidambaram said.

“There are one or two countries which have broadly confirmed our preliminary conclusions,” he added.

He, however, acknowledged there had been some security and intelligence “lapses” prior to the attacks. “These are being looked into and I will do my utmost … to overcome the causes of these lapses and try to improve the effectiveness of the security system,” he said.

India also asked Pakistan to hand over most wanted fugitives from its law and to proscribe militant outfits. The most wanted list includes Laskhar-e-Taiba leader Mohammad Hafeez Saeed, ex-Mumbai crimeboss Dawood Ibrahim and Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit’s chief Masood Azhar.

In response, Zardari offered a joint investigation team, which has been spurned by India. Subsequently, Zardari rejected the demand for handing over of fugitives asking India to produce evidence so that they can be prosecuted in Pakistani courts.

India claims it has provided strong evidence in the past - the list of India’s 20 most wanted dates back to 2002 in the aftermath of the Dec 13, 2001 attack on Indian parliament - and will decide on its next step after a formal response from Pakistan on this issue.

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