India warns of more attacks if Pakistan does not act (Lead)

March 3rd, 2009 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) India Tuesday condemned the “audacious attack” on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore and warned that such incidents may recur unless Pakistan takes “meaningful and decisive steps” to dismantle the “infrastructure of terrorism” on its soil.
“We are shocked at the audacious attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers at Lahore this morning. We offer our sympathies and good wishes for their speedy recovery as well as of those other individuals who have been caught up in the attack,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

Six escorting security personnel were killed and seven members of the Sri Lankan cricket team, including the assistant coach, were injured when the team cavalcade was attacked close to the Gaddafi stadium where the third day’s play of the second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was to commence.

“I request the Pakistani authorities not to divert the attention of the international community, but to take courage in both hands and dismantle the terrorism infrastructure and take strict measures against the perpetrators,” Mukherjee said at a joint press interaction with Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Ivailo Kalfin.

“Only then will such issues be adequately addressed.”

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers justified India’s decision to cancel the cricket tour to Pakistan due to the volatile security situation in that country.

“It was not a pleasant decision. But we were constrained to take the decision because we knew the security situation was not good,” Mukherjee replied when asked whether India felt vindicated in scrapping the tour of the Indian cricket team in the light of the latest attack.

With the Mumbai attacks in mind, Mukherjee also reminded Islamabad to take swift action against the perpetrators of the attacks and reminded the international community of the global menace of terrorism flowing from Pakistan that posed a threat to the entire world.

“What pains me is whether it’s the terror attack in Mumbai or the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers, unless terrorism infrastructure facilities available in Pakistan are completely dismantled and the perpetrators (of the attacks) brought to justice, such incidents may be repeated,” he said.

“It’s the responsibility of the incumbent government to take all steps, particularly when the international community wants each and every member of the UN to take steps to deal with terrorism.”

Mukherjee described terrorism as “the biggest threat to world peace and human civilisation”.

“The international community will have to address the issue. This is part of international terrorism. This is the biggest menace in the post Cold War world and it should be tackled effectively,” he stressed.

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