India handled Mumbai attacks courageously: Ban (Lead)

December 18th, 2008 - 1:27 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Dec 17 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday praised the Indian leadership for its “endurance and courageous handling” of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, which he said were unacceptable and cannot be justified.More than 170 civilians, including 26 foreign nationals, died in the attack mounted by 10 terrorists in Mumbai Nov 26.

“The tragic terrorist attack against the civilians in Mumbai last month was an unacceptable one. While we have condemned (it) strongly, we praise this endurance and courageous handling of this issue by Indian leadership,” Ban told correspondents in response to a question on the increasing tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai mayhem.

“Terrorists’ attacks cannot be justified under any circumstances. That is the firm principle of the international community and the United Nations. To resolve this issue, all the countries must be united in fighting against terrorism.

“That is more important than looking at bilateral tension,” Ban said responding to a reporter’s questions during his year-ender press conference at the UN headquarters in New York.

Emphasising on the need to resolve issues through peace and dialogue, Ban hoped the two South Asian neighbours would do that in a “harmonious” way.

“They (India and Pakistan) are all big neighbouring countries. They should maintain and improve their relationship through continuous dialogue, which they have initiated - composite dialogue - and also mutual respect and understanding,” Ban said.

Stating that India and Pakistan are two important countries in South Asia, Ban said peace between the two countries is not only important for the region but also for entire world.

“While there has been some period when India and Pakistan were at war or this tension over many issue like Kashmir, I believe that India and Pakistan are two very important countries in the region. Peace between the two countries will have great implications not only in the subcontinent, but also throughout the world,” he said.

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