Russia against military strike, asks India to seek UN support

December 6th, 2008 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Cautioning against a unilateral Indian military strike against Pakistan, Russia Saturday said New Delhi should seek the support of the international community and present its case to the UN after collecting “concrete evidence” of the complicity of elements in Pakistan in the Mumbai attacks. Russia and India will hold a meeting of their working group on countering terrorism in New Delhi Dec 16 and focus on the situation arising out of the Nov 26 attacks, Russia’s ambassador to India Vyacheslav Trubnikov told reporters hours after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ended his three-day visit to India.

“In case India provides very well substantiated proof, absolutely pucca (concrete) evidence, the UN Security Council could discuss the issue,” Trubnikov replied when asked what kind of action India can take to deal with terrorism flowing from Pakistan.

“There are enough international fora to discuss the issue,” he added. “With the assistance of the international community, we might come to concrete conclusions about organisations involved in these attacks,” he said.

He, however, rued that there was no consensus on a definition of terrorism at the UN and pressed for a ratification of the Comprehensive Convention on Combating Terrorism.

The Russian envoy cautioned India against a unilateral military strike as such an action would jeopardise peace and stability in the region. “In case any state takes the law into its hands, it will wreak havoc,” the envoy stressed.

“A forceful imposition of solutions on both sides would aggravate the issue,” he said while underlining that India and Pakistan should not allow terrorists to derail their peace process. “Any risky step will lead to domino or snowball effect,” he warned.

“This was the handiwork of those who were trying to blow up the process. The process of melting the ice between India and Pakistan should be irrevocable,” he said.

Virtually giving a clean chit to the civilian government in Pakistan, the Russian envoy said it was trying to “cut down the ISI to size” and should be strengthened in these efforts.

“I would not like to jump to conclusions. The stronger the government, the stronger its ability to deal with terrorism,” said Trubnikov, who has represented Russia in several inter-governmental panels dealing with counter-terrorism.

The envoy also advised Indian law-enforcement agencies and take tougher measures to prevent terror attacks.

Alluding to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks at a joint press interaction with the Russian president Friday, the envoy said the Indian prime minister was seeking support of the international community and wanted to involve major powers in any step New Delhi takes against Islamabad.

With the Mumbai terror attack underlining the global nature of terrorism, the two leaders called upon all states to cooperate actively with and provide support and assistance to the Indian authorities in their efforts to find and bring the perpetrators, organisers, sponsors, patrons or those in any way connected to these barbaric acts to justice in India.

“It’s the obligation of all countries concerned that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to the book,” Manmohan Singh replied when asked what India proposed to do about the perpetrators of the Mumbai assault who he said came from the “neighbouring country.”

The terrorist attack, which began the night of Nov 26 and led to a 60-hour hostage crisis, killed 172 people including 22 foreigners, and injured nearly 250. Indian autorities have maintained the 10 terrorists had come from Pakistan.

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