India watching Pakistan probe into Mumbai strikes: Pranab (Second Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 17 (IANS) Having suffered the terror menace for the last 25 years, New Delhi will see how long Islamabad takes to probe the Mumbai terror strikes that were aimed at hurting the Indian economy, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Saturday.”Pakistan has officially communicated to us that they have launched their process of enquiry from Jan 15,” Mukherjee told reporters.

“We have received information from our high commission in Islamabad that they have started the process and let us see how much time it takes,” the minister said on the sidelines of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.

“I have stated already that information, materials, evidence… which we have collected since the terror attack on Nov 26, we handed over these papers to the Pakistani authorities on Jan 5,” Mukherjee added.

Asked if Pakistan was testing India’s patience, Mukherjee replied: “It takes time. Diplomatic performance cannot be like switch on and switch off.”

Speaking at the 150th anniversary celebrations of St. Xavier’s here, the minister said India was feeling the pinch of terror attacks for the past 25 years.

“There’s a peculiar situation in India and the country has been facing terror attacks since the past 25 years. This menace is going to be the biggest disturbance of peace and tranquillity,” Mukherjee maintained.

“Not as a politician but as an individual, I tried to find out the reasons for these senselessly violent terror attacks. But I didn’t find any conclusion or rationality.

“Was it to achieve any particular right, political gain or to draw attention of any particular community?” the minister wondered, adding: “Has it (terrorism) anything to do with any particular religion?”

“Does any religion teach these types of principles?” Mukherjee asked.

Protesting against the phrase “Islamic terrorism”, he said: “Some Western scholars have picked up a phrase Islamic terrorism which disturbed me a lot. Islam is a religion of love, compassion and universal brotherhood.”

Speaking at a function in the Dakshineswar Adyapeeth Ananda Vidyamandir, Mukherjee spoke on the same theme, contending that Islam does not have any links with terrorism.

“There is no relation between Islam and terrorism…. In fact, no religion has any place for terror,” he maintained.

“Sometimes religious texts are misinterpreted to commit terrorist activities. Terrorists are enemies of humanity,” he pointed out.

At the the fourth international convention organised by the Association of NSE (National Stock Exchange) Members of India, Mukherjee said the terror strikes in the country last year were neither sporadic nor isolated, but designed to hurt the Indian economy.

“I can’t take it (terror strikes) as just sporadic and in isolation; may be I have a suspicious mind. From my suspicious mind, I find a design before choosing these targets, to hurt Indian economy,” Mukhrejee said.

Describing terrorism as an important challenge before the country, he said India’s national pride has been hurt by the attacks in New Delhi, popular tourist destination Jaipur and IT hub Bangalore, besides the textile city of Ahmedabad and financial capital Mumbai.

These attacks have made it clear that “our enemies are jealous of the progress that India has achieved”, Mukherjee contended.

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