Enough evidence to show Pakistan’s complicity in Mumbai terror: Manmohan (Second Lead)January 6th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Holding the Pakistan government complicit in the Mumbai terror attack, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said there was “enough evidence to show” that Pakistani official agencies had supported the terror strike on Nov 26 in which “10 Pakistani terrorists…came by sea from Karachi”.He also said Pakistan was an example of a “fragile” and “irresponsible” government that had “utilised” terrorism as an instrument of state policy against India.
This is the first time the prime minister has explicitly singled out Pakistan’s role in the Nov 26-29 attack and detailed how it continued to harbour terror groups that were antagonistic to India.
“The governments in some of our neighbouring countries are very fragile in nature. The more fragile a government, the more it tends to act in an irresponsible fashion. Pakistan’s responses to our various demarches on terrorist attacks is an example,” said Manmohan Singh while addressing a meeting of all the state chief ministers on the issue of internal security.
His statement comes close on the heels of Home Minister P. Chidambaram categorically rejecting the Pakistani theory that the people behind the Mumbai attacks were non-state actors.
“Terrorism, on the other hand, is largely sponsored from outside the country, mainly Pakistan, which has utilised terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” asserted the prime minister, a day after the government handed over material evidence to Pakistan linking Pakistan based militants to the Mumbai attack.
Pointing out that terrorists were enlarging the canvas of threats concentrating on attacking economic, infrastructure, and iconic targets, Manmohan Singh urged greater vigilance along the 7,500 km coast line and better monitoring of maritime activity in territorial waters.
He also called for a strong sense of nationhood to withstand both types of threats.
“Our nation is clearly united in our determination to defeat both external as well as internal security challenges. Our determination and sense of nationhood derives from our inheritance of a great historical experience of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-caste and multi-lingual society.”
“Today, even as Pakistan engages in whipping up war hysteria, our nation remains steadfastly united and, if anything, the process of national consolidation is becoming stronger.”
Though India’s external policies have been dictated by a desire to have a supportive neighbourhood, the prime minister lamented that was not possible.
“Unfortunately, we cannot choose our neighbours, and some countries like Pakistan have in the past encouraged and given sanctuary to terrorists and other forces who are antagonistic to India.”
“Consequent upon this, those incharge of the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan have resorted to other stratagems to infiltrate terrorists into India. Infiltration is occurring via Nepal and from Bangladesh, though it has not totally ceased via the Line of Control.”
“We are aware that the sea route is another option that is now being exercised. A few interceptions have taken place, though we failed to intercept the 10 Pakistani terrorists who came by sea from Karachi.”
Delving at length on the role of Pakistan in the attacks, Manmohan Singh unequivocally stated that official agencies were involved.
“The terrorist attack in Mumbai in November last year was carried out by a Pakistan-based outfit, the Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said.
“On the basis of the investigations carried out, (including by agencies of some foreign countries whose nationals were killed in the attack), there is enough evidence to show that, given the sophistication and military precision of the attack it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan.”
The prime minister said he discerned a pattern in the Mumbai attacks that was to strike a blow on the country’s economic and security interests.
“In the case of Mumbai, a definite link can be discerned between our economic and security interests. Targeting of foreigners, specially from the West, was obviously intended to convey an impression that India was unsafe as a destination for the West and western investments. ”
“We need to effectively counter this impression. We need to ensure that another major terrorist attack does not take place on our soil. We must implement the policy of ‘zero tolerance of terrorism’ with total commitment.”
Manmohan Singh also made a strong case for coming up with the best of technological and human capabilities within the country to defeat terrorism in all its manifestations.