Pakistan envoy blames ‘non-state actors’ for Mumbai attacksNovember 29th, 2008 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Nov 29 (IANS) Asserting that “no element of Pakistan’s state or government” was involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, its ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said he wanted New Delhi and Islamabad to unite in the war against terror.”I can say without any equivocation that no element of Pakistan’s state or government was involved in these attacks,” he told CNN’s the Situation Room programme.
“These are the actions of non-state actors and I think India and Pakistan should not go at each other verbally or in any other way,” Haqqani said.
“It’s time for us to unite in the war against terror. We are both victims. Our heart goes out to our neighbours.”
Asked to comment on the Indian charge that Islamabad has not done enough to clamp down on terror elements based in Pakistan that go after Indian targets, the envoy said: “Pakistan has a new democratic government and from history we know that democracies do not fight each other.”
“What we do not need right now is an argument about Pakistan and India’s troubled relationship of the past,” he said, adding, “It is important to understand Pakistan wants nothing but good relations with India and we will work together in fighting the menace of terrorism just as we have started working with our other neighbour Afghanistan.”
Asked why the head of the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, was going to India, Haqqani said: “The important thing is that Pakistan’s intelligence service wants to show and Pakistan’s government wants to show that we are willing to work together with India.”
“We do not want anyone to feel that we are withholding anything that we know about anybody.”
“And so India and Pakistan will work together, a high-level official will travel to India so that we can find out what India knows about these terrorists and share with them anything that they want to know about any groups or individuals about which India seeks information in this particular act,” he added.
While Pakistan Friday showed readiness to send the ISI chief to India to help in the probe into the terrorist attack, on Saturday it clarified that only an aide of the spy agency chief will go to India.
Asked who did he guess was responsible for the Mumbai’s well coordinated attacks, Haqqani said: “The world changed after 9/11. We should have all realised that there are non-state actors like Al Qaeda who do not have a state but have the means to coordinate and organise and who are very patient.”
“We haven’t paid enough (attention) to the ideology of terrorism. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has repeatedly said the terrorist menace can only be fought when we start fighting back on the ideas front with the terrorists,” he added.
“These are non-state actors. Where they may have been trained or been based is something we will find when we pool our resources, the international community and India and Pakistan work together for an investigation,” Haqqani said.
Asked if he saw Al Qaeda at least indirectly or directly involved, he said: “It’s not appropriate to speculate, it would not be appropriate for me to say that it was Al Qaeda without knowing who it was.” But, “it was either somebody who’s inspired by Al Qaeda or related to Al Qaeda because this is definitely Al Qaeda’s modus operandi.”
With assembly elections under way in India, the envoy said: “There may be a temptation there for some people to try and look for warts by bashing Pakistan.”
“That would not be statesman-like. I think the statesman-like thing for India to do and for Pakistan to do is to work together, make sure we find that who is responsible for this, and work together to eliminate terrorism all the way from Kabul to Calcutta,” he added.