Dismantle terror network, Pranab tells Pakistan (Second Lead)

December 21st, 2008 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir BhuttoKolkata, Dec 21 (IANS) Hardening its stance, India Sunday asked Islamabad to deliver results by acting against terrorists who masterminded the attack on Mumbai and dismantle the terror infrastructure on its soil. “Pakistan should deliver results. Words must be followed by action,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a function here.

Speaking at another function here, Mukherjee said Pakistan should fulfil its commitment not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist activities. “Fulfil your commitment. We are not asking for anything more. Like a civilised nation, dismantle the infrastructure and facilities available there.”

He termed as “not really convincing” the arguments put forth by the Pakistani leaders that their country’s soil was not being used for subversive activities against India.

On Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s comment that the Mumbai terrorists were “non-state actors”, Mukherjee said: “Non-state actors do not come from heaven or some other planet. They operate from somewhere. Their (Pakistan) government has to take care about it.”

Mukherjee said India could not be expected to chase “non-state actors” operating on foreign soil.

He also demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists sought by India for interrogation.

“We want them to cooperate… There are some fugitives who are Indian citizens but have taken shelter in Pakistan. They should be handed over to India.

“Again, there are some Pakistani citizens who are involved in terrorist activities targeting India, they are also needed to be handed over to India for interrogation. They should be arrested and handed over to India,” Mukherjee said.

Alluding to slain former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the minister said she had written to then Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf that Islamabad should “operate in a straight line” on the issue.

“If Pakistan operates in a straight line, the problem can be solved,” Mukherjee said.

“The situation is grim for Pakistan, for humanity, and for this continent,” he added.

Mukherjee then punched holes in Pakistan’s stand on the Mumbai savagery, which left over 170 people dead during Nov 26-29. Islamabad denies any of the terrorists killed or caught in Mumbai was Pakistani.

“First, the Pakistani defence minister said that (Jaish-e-Mohammed chief) Masood Azhar has been put under house arrest. Then they said he is not visible. If he is not visible, then how was he arrested?

“Don’t indulge in flat denials. Denial does not lead anywhere,” Mukherjee told the Pakistani leadership.

He said India had given to Pakistan evidence regarding the involvement of terrorists in that country “not once, not twice, not thrice but on 10 occasions”.

“We have the evidences, including interceptions and cracking of satellite codes,” he said.

Referring to the confessions of Muhammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the only terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack, Mukherjee said: “He has provided details of what transpired between them and their controllers on the other side (of the border).”

He demanded that Pakistan pursue the evidences and take action against terrorists as per their country’s law and stop use of their soil for subversive activities against India.

However, Mukherjee described as “unfortunate” and “sinister” the term ‘Islamic terrorism’ used by some people, including scholars.

“It is most unfortunate and sinister if somebody tries to bring out an expression ‘Islamic terrorism’. Islam is a religion of love, compassion and equality since its inception,” he said.

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