‘Jaipur blasts should not affect India-Pakistan peace process’

May 14th, 2008 - 11:24 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) India Wednesday hoped the terror strikes in Jaipur that claimed 63 lives would not affect the peace process with Pakistan that is set to resume later this month after a hiatus caused by the uncertain political situation in the neighbouring country. “We hope the blasts will not affect the peace process. We also hope Pakistan will not cast a shadow,” Minister of State for Home Shri Prakash Jaiswal told reporters here.

At the same time, he blamed the Tuesday blasts on a “well-planned state-sponsored conspiracy hatched in a neighbouring country to disrupt our communal harmony”.

He, however, refrained from naming the “neighbouring country” or the group responsible for the outrage.

“It is very easy to take names, but one has to be careful (of one’s facts) before doing so,” Jaiswal added.

He also sought to blame the blasts on the Rajasthan government’s lack of alertness in the wake of a similar incident at the Sufi shrine of Ajmer Sharif seven months ago but hastily retracted under intense questioning from reporters.

“We had inputs about the possibility of attacks on religious places in Rajasthan, but we had no specific inputs on Jaipur being targeted. At the same time, we would have expected the Rajasthan government to be more alert after the Ajmer Sharif blasts,” he said.

In this context, the minister stressed the need for the state governments to create intelligence cells separate from the police forces to enable better response on the inputs the central intelligence agencies might provide.

“The time has come for the states to establish separate intelligence cadres separate from the police forces. Till that happens, even if we send inputs, it takes time to materialise and that also in a slipshod manner,” Jaiswal contended.

“We can provide modern arms and equipment (to counter terrorists), but there is no point of this without a proper intelligence network,” he added.

He agreed with a questioner that the Jaipur blasts had reinforced the need for a federal intelligence agency to probe and prevent such incidents.

“For over one year, we have been trying to build (political) consensus on this. We have called meetings of chief ministers and chief secretaries and told them they should be prepared for a federal agency to control terrorist activities,” Jaiswal said.

“The response has been lukewarm but we will continue to press for it. But we won’t implement it till all the states are ready,” Jaiswal added.

He also refused to speculate on the type of explosives used in the Jaipur blasts.

“It could have been RDX or ammonium nitrate or something else. The NSG (National Security Guards) is analysing the explosives used and will tell us what kind was used,” Jaiswal said.

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