India concerned at Pakistan’s ’soft touch’ on Mumbai attack

April 1st, 2009 - 10:38 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Arvind Padmanabhan
London, April 1 (IANS) India is “anguished” by Pakistan’s “soft touch” in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to book and is concerned at the possibility of the recent Lahore-style attacks on its own soil.

“We feel there is a very soft touch approach,” said an Indian official accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the G20 summit here, when asked about New Delhi’s stand on Pakistan’s approach in investigating the Mumbai terror attacks.

“This is causing us a great deal of anguish,” the official said.

The official, who requested anonymity, said enough evidence had been given to Islamabad that the identified masterminds behind the attacks were in Pakistan and that those who had carried out the attacks were Pakistani nationals.

“The best thing for us will be if they are handed over to us. Otherwise they should be tried as per the laws of their land,” the official said. “That is only fair.”

Prior to leaving for London, the prime minister had asked Pakistan to show some “visible results” on how it has dealt with the information India has shared with Islamabad on those responsible for the Mumbai savagery — if Islamabad wanted the composite dialogue process to resume.

“Pakistan has to prove (it) is doing all that is possible,” Manmohan Singh said, responding to President Asif Ali Zardari’s suggestion that the two countries resume the dialogue process, frozen since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that left over 170 people dead.

“Pakistan should show visible results on the 26/11 probe,” he had said.

Referring to the most recent Islamist militant attack on a police academy near Lahore, another official in the prime minister’s delegation to G20 said that India had “no joy whatsoever” over the killings and that the media should not make any such insinuation.

“Pakistan and India have a common objective of eliminating terrorism. Pakistan has to come to grips with this problem,” he said, adding that the lesson for India was that terror was not a diffused phenomenon.

“What the recent attacks have shown is terrorism and extremism are fused and un-segmented,” he said. “We are concerned that every day when we look at these incidents, we feel these can happen on our soil also.”

It was for this reason, he said, that the prime minister had been pushing for Indian intelligence agencies to be agile, beef up their network and spruce up their ability to gather crucial information.

Manmohan Singh, who will be holding bilateral talks with US President Barrack Obama on the margins of the G20 meet Thursday, has said that issues like terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be on the agenda.

Officials said a lot of preparatory work had gone into the meeting. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were expected to participate in the meeting.

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