India talks tough on terror - ahead of dialogue

July 23rd, 2011 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Thimphu/New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India Saturday said it was the legal and moral duty of the state to suppress terrorists, including non-state actors, and bring them to justice.

“The difference between state and non-state actors is misplaced. Nations must act if their territory is used by non-state actors,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in Thimphu.

He is attending a meeting of home ministers of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

“That country owes a moral and legal responsibility to suppress such non-state actors (who commit terror) and bring them to justice,” he said.

Chidambaram’s comments come days before Foreign Ministers S.M. Krishna of India and Hina Rabbani Khar of Pakistan meet in New Delhi. Issues related to cross-border terrorism are expected to figure in the talks.

The fourth meeting of SAARC home ministers will discuss maritime security, smuggling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

In his speech, Chidambaram did not name any country. But Pakistan has blamed “non-state actors” originating from its territory for the terrorist carnage in Mumbai in 2008.

Chidambaram and Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik are expected to meet on the sidelines of the SAARC conference. However, no formal meeting has been scheduled.

The SAARC security conference comes days after the Mumbai serial blasts of July 13 that killed 20 people and injured scores.

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