China assures India of support over fight against terror

January 5th, 2009 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Breaking its silence over the complicity of Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai carnage, China Monday assured India it was aware of the problem of terrorism coming from that country as the two neighbours sought to intensify their counter-terror cooperation.India shared with China evidence about the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai carnage and sought Beijing’s influence in persuading Islamabad in bringing the perpetrators of the 26/11 terror attack to justice.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon gave details of the Mumbai terror strikes to Chinese vice foreign minister He Yafei, who has been sent to India as a special envoy to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.

“We have shared material with them. There is no denial of the fact (from the Chinese side) that there is terrorism coming from Pakistan,” Menon told reporters when asked about China’s studied silence on the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai carnage.

Menon indicated that China was trying to find a balance between “its strategic partner (India)” and “a close and very important friend (Pakistan)”.

“China stands very firm with us in combating terrorism. We have a joint working group in counter-terrorism,” Menon said when asked about his discussions with the Chinese vice foreign minister.

Menon discussed the evidence showing how 10 heavily-armed terrorists came from Karachi to Mumbai via sea to attack India’s financial capital.

The evidence that was discussed included extracts from the interrogation of Amir Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani national who was the only terrorist to be captured alive in Mumbai; and details of the terrorists’ communication links with elements in Pakistan during the Mumbai attack.

“We had very good talks with the foreign secretary… We got a full briefing from our (Indian) colleagues. We would study them of course… We would see,” He Yafei, who arrived here Sunday evening, told reporters after his meeting with Menon.

He Yafei suggested that India and Pakistan should hold dialogue to resolve the issue.

When Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi rang up External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee a few days ago, he asked India to ease the tensions with Pakistan. Surprisingly, there was no comment on Pakistani links to Mumbai terrorism, according to official sources here.

While the Chinese government has so far maintained studied silence over the suspected involvement of Pakistan-based terror groups in the Mumbai mayhem, Chinese state-controlled media has made its pro-Pakistan tilt apparent with its various despatches largely echoing Islamabad’s position.

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