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'Pak must do much more to dismantle terror infrastructure'
Suman Guha Mozumder in New York | September 27, 2006 02:57 IST
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that Pakistan must do much more to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism still intact on its land if it claims to be a frontline state in the global war against terrorism.
While welcoming the positive results of the recent summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf in Havana, Mukherjee said Pakistan remains a nursery of global terrorism.
Delivering a lecture at Harvard's Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on Monday, Mukherjee said post 9/11, Pakistan has reportedly helped the United States to fight terrorism along its western border with Afghanistan, but it has done precious little to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its eastern border with India.
"Many terrorists roam freely in Pakistan. India has repeatedly stated that in order to proceed with the ongoing peace-process between the two countries, Pakistan must implement the solemn assurances it has given to stop all cross-border terrorism. This has not yet happened," Mukherjee said.
The defence minister said India has been fighting terrorism for many years, noting that the challenge is complex on account of cross-border linkages. However, India rejects any linkage between terrorism and religion.
In the struggle to contain and eliminate terrorism, India, he said, has sought to strike a balance between security imperatives and political measures.
"The cost to our security forces has been high but the political battle will be won. It is our belief that both in Jammu & Kashmir and in the North-East, stability, peace and reconciliation would be restored in the coming years," he said.
Mukherjee said much, however, will depend on the success of the ongoing peace process with Pakistan and its approach towards support to terrorism and irregular warfare both in India and Afghanistan.
"International pressure would have to remain on Pakistan to change, and to reform and democratise its polity. This would clearly be among the foremost tasks in international security in the coming years, and an area in which India hopes to work closely with other partners," he said.