PM to raise terrorism in talks with Pakistani leaders

August 1st, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By M.R. Narayan Swamy
On Board Air India One, Aug 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to raise the issue of terrorism when he meets the Pakistani leadership on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Colombo, a top official said Friday. “I can’t speak for the prime minister but I presume this will be raised,” the official told journalists on board the prime minister’s aircraft en-route to the Sri Lankan capital where the 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is being held.

“There are so many power centres in Pakistan. It is difficult to deal with the situation. Surely the issue will be raised,” he added.

“We are unhappy with the role ISI (Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence) is playing,” the official said.

Discussing the terror attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7, in which two Indian envoys were amongst the 42 killed, he said the ISI’s involvement was evident.

“We have the cleanest evidences. That is why we went public and said Pakistan’s ISI is behind this. It is not just us, even the US and other countries are openly saying so (that the ISI is responsible).”

“The message of Kabul was very clear - get out of Afghanistan,” he added.

He also discussed the recent May blast in Jaipur, where 61 people were killed, and the back-to-back serial bombings in Bangalore (on July 25) and in Ahmedabad (on July 26 when 21 explosions killed at least 50 people).

“While the Ahmedabad and Jaipur blasts were similar, in Bangalore there was a great deal of sophistication.”

“We have some leads but we are not clear about the message behind the attack.”

Responding to a question on whether terrorists were getting a substantial hold on India, the official said: “Definitely (the attacks) reflect that the capacity of the terrorists has grown.”

He said the government was unaware of the Indian Mujahideen, a group claiming responsibility for the Jaipur and Ahmedabad blasts. But there did seem to be some local involvement.

“You cannot manage 10-15 blasts unless there is a local organisation. But we are not aware of this organisation (Indian Mujahideen). But there is an organisation which carried out with certain local involvement.”

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