India watching Pakistan probe into Mumbai strikes: Pranab (Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 17 (IANS) India will see how long Pakistan takes to complete the investigation into the Mumbai terror strikes, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Tuesday as he underlined that terrorist strikes were aimed to hurt Indian economy.”Pakistan has officially communicated to us that they have launched their process of enquiry from Jan 15,” External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

“We have received information from our high commission in Islamabad that they have started the process and let us see how much time it takes,” the minister said on the sidelines of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.

“I have stated already that information, materials, evidence… which we have collected since the terror attack on Nov 26, we handed over these papers to the Pakistani authority on Jan 5,” Mukherjee said.

Asked if Pakistan was testing India’s patience, Mukherjee said: “It takes time. Diplomatic performance cannot be like switch on and switch off.

“I have stated already that we have given them evidence collected since the Nov 26 attack in Mumbai. We have handed over these papers to the Pakistan authorities,” he said.

Speaking at a function in the Dakshineswar Adyapeeth Ananda Vidyamandir at Adyapeeth, Mukherjee said Islam does not have any link with terrorism.

“There is no relation between Islam and terrorism…. In fact, no religion has any place for terror,” he said.

“Sometimes religious texts are misinterpreted to commit terrorist activities. Terrorists are enemies of humanity,” he said.

At the the fourth International Convention organised by the Association of NSE (National Stock Exchange) Members of India, Mukherjee said the terror strikes in the country last year were neither sporadic nor isolated, but designed to hurt the national economy.

“I can’t take it (terror strikes) as just sporadic and in isolation; may be I have a suspicious mind. From my suspicious mind I find a design before choosing these targets, to hurt Indian economy,” Mukhrejee said.

Describing terrorism as an important challenge before the country, he said India’s national pride has been hurt by the attacks in New Delhi, popular tourist destination Jaipur and research, education and IT hub Bangalore, besides the textile city of Ahmedabad and financial capital Mumbai.

He said these attacks have made it clear that “our enemies are jealous of the progress that India has achieved”.

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