Pakistan epicentre of terror, Mumbai attack was war: Advani (Lead)

December 11th, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Terming Pakistan as the “epicentre” of terrorism, leader of opposition L.K. Advani Thursday said India was united in the war against terror and cautioned the government against relying too much on the UN Security Council to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai siege to justice.”We are trying to pressurise Pakistan by moving the UNSC. But we should not forget our experience in terms of Kashmir. We should take whatever action we can take on our own strength, as this is our problem. We should not expect too much from the UNSC,” Advani told the Lok Sabha.

“The world says that South Asia is in the eye of the storm on terrorism. Let us realise and say it candidly that the epicentre of the terror is Pakistan. We moved UNSC but we haven’t named Pakistan. I don’t know why.”

Addressing the house after Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate said the Nov 26 attack on India’s financial capital was a “terror war” that was the fallout of “cross border terrorism”.

“It is not just terror, it is cross border terrorism, a word which Pakistan’s former president General Parvez Musharraf refused to accept during (the 2001) Agra summit. He instead termed the terrorism in Kashmir as the fight for liberation,” said Advani, who was deputy home minister in the BJP-led government then.

He said Pakistan’s crackdown on terrorist groups was hogwash.

“We should not be fooled by the crackdown operation of Pakistan against terrorist groups,” Advani said.

Assuring the government of the opposition’s support in all “stern decisions” aimed at rooting out terrorism, Advani also pointed fingers at Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI for perpetrating terror in the country.

“Pakistan President (Asif Ali) Zardari has accepted that non-state actors on Pakistan soil are fomenting terrorism. ISI itself is a non-state actor because it is not under the elected Pakistan government and is answerable only to the army,” he added.

He said the Nov 26-29 Mumbai terror siege that killed more than 170 people was an attack on the “economic progress” and the “peaceful coexistence of multi-religions” in India.

In a mostly apolitical speech, Advani urged the government to “take war on terror to its logical conclusion”.

“The whole nation is one and together. The ruling party and opposition may have differences on many issues but in the war against terror, we are united,” Advani thundered.

“This is not an attack. It is a war. The government, the opposition and the whole country are united,” Advani said while offering the support of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) to the government to take “whatever action necessary” to fight terror.

Advani said there was no connection between Islam and terrorism and spiritual Islam was to be respected. “It is the political Islam of the kind as propagated by the extremist organisations from the soil of Pakistan, that should be fought against,” he said.

While Pakistan accepted Islamic theocracy after division, India adopted secularism as the driving force of the nation.

“This is the civilisational ethos of India, which has been attacked. This should be understood and we should convince Indian Muslims about it,” Advani said.

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