Chidambaram, Mukherjee condemn Lahore terror attack (Roundup)March 30th, 2009 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Baharampur, March 30 (IANS) India Monday condemned the brazen assault on a police academy near Lahore that claimed lives of at least 27 trainees before Pakistani security forces neutralised the attackers, saying terrorism in all its forms needed to be stamped out.
As the attackers struck, Home Minister P. Chidmbaram, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon made separate statements denouncing the assault.
Chidambaram, on his part, did not see any parallels between the Lahore attack and the 26/11 Mumbai that had claimed the lives of more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners.
“There can be no parallel. The only commonality is that they are terror attacks,” the home minister told reporters in New Delhi.
“In the case of Mumbai, the source is known to be Pakistani soil. We don’t know about the (source of) Lahore attack. Therefore, it would be completely wrong to draw a parallel,” he added.
“We are deeply concerned. We condemn the terrorist attack. We condemn all terrorist attacks. We offer our deepest sympathies to the people of Pakistan,” Chidambaram said.
According to Mukherjee, the incident yet again showed that terrorism had not been uprooted from Pakistan.
“We express our deep condolence for the police personnel who lost their lives in the fight,” he told reporters in Baharampur in West Bengal.
“We hope Pakistan government will resolve this problem in its own way,” he added.
Menon told reporters in New Delhi: “The government of India is deeply saddened and shocked by the events in Lahore.
“Terrorism is a menace to the entire region. Our sympathies go out to the families whose members have been killed or injured,” he added.
Menon declined to comment on the identity of the attackers or the motive behind the attack.
Pakistani security forces Monday stormed the Manawan police training academy on the outskirts of Lahore, ending a seven-hour siege by a group of heavily armed attackers who had taken over 800 trainees hostage. Four of the attackers were killed, while three were captured alive.
At least 27 police trainees were killed but the casualty figure could rise as bodies were still being brought out of the Manawan Police Academy that is close to the Wagah border.
Eyewitness accounts put the number of attackers at between 10 and 12, some of them in police uniform.