India seeks ban on Jamat-ud-Dawa; Pakistan talks of war (Roundup)December 10th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS
United Nations/Islamabad, Dec 10 (IANS) The Mumbai terror strikes and the Pakistan-based Jamat-ud-Dawa were in focus at the UN Security Council with India demanding the group be branded a terrorist outfit and Pakistan stating that it would do so only after completing investigations, even as a Pakistani minister warned of a war in the sub-continent. “We do not want to impose war, but we are fully prepared in case war is imposed on us,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in Multan.
“We are not oblivious to our responsibilities to defend our homeland and it is a clear message. We want love and friendship, we want peace and stability in this region, but our peace mission should not be understood as the weakness of Pakistan,” Qureshi added.
India claims the Jamat-ud-Dawa is a front organisation for the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the UN branded a terrorist organisation in 2002 and which New Delhi blames for the Nov 26 Mumbai attacks that claimed at least 179 lives.
On Tuesday, India urged the UN Security Council to declare the Jamat-ud-Dawa a terrorist group.
“The Jamat-ud-Dawa and other such organisations need to be proscribed internationally and effective sanctions imposed against them,” Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed told the 15-member council.
Bowing to India’s demand and pressure from the international community, Pakistani Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon told the Security Council that his country would ban the Jamat-ud-Dawa.
“The government of Pakistan has already initiated investigations on its own pertaining to the allegations of involvement of persons and entities in the Mumbai attacks,” Haroon said.
“After the designation by the Indian government of the Jamat-ud-Dawa under 1267, the (Pakistani) government upon receiving this instruction shall proscribe the JuD and take consequential action as required, including the freezing of assets,” he added.
However, Pakistan Wednesday took a defensive stand with National Security Advisor (NSA) Mahmud Ali Durrani stating that action would be taken against the Jamat-ud-Dawa if it was found guilty of terrorist activity after investigations were over and not because India said so.
“If they (Jamat-ud-Dawa) are involved in terrorist activity, we will surely take action against them but only after investigations are over and not if India says so,” Durrani told an Indian news channel.
The Mumbai terror attacks dominated the proceedings of the special meeting of the UN Security Council Tuesday, wherein member nations not only condemned the heinous attack, but also underlined the need to bring those responsible for it to justice.
Briefing the members of the Security Council about the terrorist attacks, Ahamed said a group of 10 LeT terrorists reached Mumbai on the evening of Nov 26.
“Nine terrorists were killed in the action taken by our security forces while one of them was apprehended. His interrogation has revealed that they were trained in Pakistan and were launched from a ship from Karachi. They travelled into Indian waters, took control of an Indian boat, killing the crew. Thereafter, they came to Mumbai to cause mayhem and murder,” Ahamed said.
Without mentioning Pakistan, Ahamed said a deadly combination emerges when actions of terrorist groups are used to serve the political interests of states.
“A terror machine is created. India has had experience of such machines which need to be eliminated. The nexus between state - or elements within the state - and terror outfits must be broken and groups or individuals that indoctrinate, organise, plan and finance terror have to be uprooted along with other measures,” he said.
The UN Security Council underlined the need to strengthen existing mechanisms and cooperation for a joint fight against terrorism.
This is essential to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice any person who supported, facilitated or participated in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts, the council said in a presidential statement read by Croatian President Stjepan Mesic.
“The attack in Mumbai at the end of last month was an attack on us all,” said British Ambassador to the UN John Sawers. “We must all focus on helping the government of India in whatever ways we can to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice.”
The US reiterated that countries should deny safe haven to terrorists. So did Russian Ambassasor Vitaly I. Churkin, who said it was “important to expose and neutralise terrorist networks, to block financial flows and to eliminate safe havens”.
In his speech, the Pakistani envoy tried to link terrorism in the region to the Kashmir dispute.
“The best outcome of the (Mumbai) tragedy would be the resolution of the issue of Kashmir,” Haroon said.
However, Indian diplomat Vikram Doraiswami rebutted his remarks, stating that Pakistan should concentrate on taking action against terrorists rather than harping on the Kashmir issue.
Commenting on the strain that the Mumbai terror attacks has put on India-Pakistan relations, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the terrorists were “undoubtedly unnerved by the increasingly good relations between Pakistan and India” and wanted to disrupt bilateral ties.
“Clearly, those who want to disrupt good relations between India and Pakistan were at root,” Rice said in an interview on CBS News Radio.
She added: “These non-state actors clearly used Pakistani territory, and Pakistan therefore has a responsibility to act.”