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December 20, 2001
2105 IST

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India insists Pakistan must crack down on terrorists

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi

India on Thursday insisted that Pakistan must take action against the terrorist groups responsible for the attack on Parliament.

Responding to America's call for India to furnish proof of the Pakistani links of the attackers, external affairs ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao said, "It is Pakistan, which is the epicentre of terrorism in our region, and it is for Pakistan to take meaningful action against the terrorist groups responsible for the attack on our democracy."

She said India's view on the subject remains unchanged from what Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had stated in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. "The prime minister's statement is our considered, articulated view," she said.

She said India was already in touch with the United States and other countries to give the international community evidence of the involvement of Pakistani groups.

She said Britain's High Commissioner for India Sir Rob Young met Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer on Thursday in this connection. Iyer also had meetings with the German and French ambassadors.

"The subject of the discussion [between them] was the terrorist attack on our Parliament and the evidence we have gathered, which clearly implicates the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed," she said.

According to Rao, 60 members of the US House of Representatives, including Frank Pallone, Barbara Lee, Ed Royce, Tom Lantos and Connie Morella, have written to Vajpayee expressing "profound shock and sadness" at the attack. Besides, numerous messages of sympathy and support have been received from the US.

"We are going to share the evidence [against the LeT and JeM] with our friends and partners who are united in their determination to fight terrorism," Rao said, adding that the US was among these friends.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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