Fully unveil Mumbai conspiracy, India urges Pakistan (Intro roundup)

February 13th, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 13 (IANS) Terming Pakistan’s acknowledgment of the role of its citizens in the Mumbai mayhem as a “positive development”, India Friday asked it to “fully unveil” the conspiracy, even as Islamabad accused New Delhi of mixing domestic politics with the carnage.
India also underscored the threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan not just to India but also the world and said it will review “the situation including Pakistan’s responses and will take further steps that we deem necessary in order to protect our people”.

Pakistan was quick to react, with a foreign office spokesman in Islamabad saying: “We have a distinct sense that the reality of the Mumbai terrorist attacks… is getting increasingly mixed with compulsions of domestic politics in India.”

Making a statement in the Indian parliament, Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee said it was “imperative that Pakistan act with sincerity and act effectively against the licence that terrorist groups enjoy in its territory”.

Describing Pakistan’s response to India’s dossier “a positive development”, Mukherjee said the “primary onus of responsibility lies on Pakistan to fully unveil the conspiracy, identify those guilty and act in a transparent and verifiable manner”.

Breaking repeated patterns of denial and prevarication in the past, Pakistan for the first time Thursday admitted the involvement of its nationals in the Mumbai terror attack on India.

Responding to Pakistan’s demand for more information and material relating to the Mumbai atrocity that killed over 170 people, including 26 foreigners, Mukherjee said India was examining the issues and will share whatever it can with Pakistan.

Alluding to the earlier response of Pakistan to the Mumbai attacks which included “the prevarication, denial, diversionary tactics and misplaced sense of victimhood”, the minister underlined that “the overwhelming response of official Pakistan to the Mumbai attack was not appropriate to a terrorist attack where innocents were massacred in cold blood”.

The minister also highlighted sustained efforts by India to mobilise international support to pressure Pakistan. Mukherjee stressed the twin goals of India were to bring the perpetrators who planned, organised and trained the terrorists in Pakistan to justice, and to seek “credible steps” by Pakistan to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism to ensure that there would no recurrence of such attacks.

“The international community has also worked with us, using its influence on Pakistan to ensure that the terrorist infrastructure and the support provided to such elements is put to an end, since terrorism emanating out of Pakistan is a threat not only to us, but to the world,” he said.

Terming terrorism emanating from Pakistan a “global menace and cancer”, Mukherjee also reminded Pakistan to honour its bilateral and international obligations not to allow its territory to be used for terror attacks against India.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said at a crowded news conference in Islamabad Thursday that the terrorists were “non-state actors” and informed that Pakistan has filed FIRs against nine people for their involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

“A part of the conspiracy has been done in Pakistan,” Malik admitted, but claimed “a major part was shaped in India”.

More than two months after the Mumbai attacks froze the peace process, Mukherjee said: “No meeting has taken place and neither are any scheduled. As members (MPs) are aware, the dialogue and normalisation process was premised on commitments given by Pakistan that territory under its control would not be used for terrorism in any manner”.

Unlike the Dec 13, 2001 terrorist attack on Indian parliament, blamed by India on elements in Pakistan, that led to the suspension of composite dialogue and transport links, this time New Delhi has decided not to imperil contacts between ordinary people who are said to favour peace and rapprochement between the two countries.

“We are at a point in our relationship where the authorities in Pakistan itself have to choose the kind of relationship that they want with India in the future,” Mukherjee said. “Much depends on actions in the Mumbai case reaching their logical conclusion,” he said.

“I must underline that we have no quarrel with the people of Pakistan. We wish them well and we do not think that they should be held responsible or face the consequences of this situation,” he said.

“We have, therefore, consciously, and after due deliberation, not thought it necessary or fit to curtail people to people contacts, trains and road links,” he said.

People-to-people contacts saw a dramatic upsurge since India and Pakistan resumed their composite dialogue over five years ago. Despite strains in official ties over cross-border terror, popular engagement kept alive the peace process.

India and Pakistan have launched four bus services and two train services that operate between their cities.

According to the Pakistani spokesman, Mukherjee’s remarks “are essentially a rehash of the standard Indian line against Pakistan and in complete variance with the imperatives of a serious approach to uncover the ‘full facts’ relating to Mumbai attacks and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“The government of Pakistan expects India to come clean on the multiple facets of the Mumbai tragedy and expose the names of persons and entities in India who were also responsible for acts of commission and omission in a transparent manner,” the spokesman maintained.

Saying that Pakistan had “so far” refrained from commenting on Indian internal affairs, the spokesman added: “We have acted with a high sense of responsibility and exercised restraint. We have offered our hand of cooperation.

“We do so in the interest of regional peace and security,” he added.

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