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Mumbai attacks: Pakistan pleads not guilty

Dharam Shourie in United Nations | December 02, 2008 02:39 IST

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Cautioning India against indulging in 'blame game' over the 'horrific' terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Pakistan has asked the international community, especially the United States to help bring about 'rapprochement' between New Delhi [Images] and Islamabad [Images].

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and all member nations, Pakistan's Ambassador to the world body Abdullah Hussain Haroon has said, building up circumstantial evidence has resulted in some of the costliest mistakes by mankind, the latest example being the US intervention in Iraq.

'It is indeed regrettable that an attempt is being made internationally to involve Pakistan through its government and people to bear the brunt of the outrage against the Mumbai incident,' he said.

This, the letter said, is the response rooted in the history of old antagonism and is not befitting the spirit of cordiality that the new democratic leadership of Pakistan has established with India.

'It is not the first time that rogue elements that reside in every country of the world have intervened to divert the progress of mankind and peace by provocative acts of public vandalism that result in regrettable outrage and take the world closer towards conflict,' he added.

The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images], he said, should 'bring about rapprochement and rapport between the aggrieved countries to avoid conflagration'.
'The horrific events that unfolded in Mumbai have caused anguish and pain to the vast majority of Pakistanis and have been reflected in the strong condemnatory statements of President Zardari, Prime Minister Gillani and Foreign Minister Qureshi,' he said.

Underlining that Pakistan was itself a victim of terrorism, the Ambassador in the letter asked the international community to help eliminate the threat from the country.

'The world must now recognise that the best method and way of countering this worldwide threat should be by helping the Government of Pakistan not only to defend itself, but to stamp out the threat to Pakistan and to the entire world once and for all.

'This requires financial aid, political understanding and unstinting military support,' the letter said.

The front line in the war against terrorism, he said, has shifted from Afghanistan into Pakistan with consequences for India, Middle East and China.

It is imperative and the need of the hour to avoid the 'blame game', it said, adding that perpetrators of the terror siege desired to 'ratchet up tension, extend the field of conflict and to undermine normalisation between Pakistan and India'.

Such attacks in an election year in India, Haroon said, were also aimed at confusing Indian Muslims who are 15 per cent of the electorate and may result in an angry Hindu victory and a possible defeat of liberal and secular forces of India.

This, he said, will further increase tension in South Asia.

The letter said another objective of the terrorists was to divert Pakistan 's soldiers and forces out of the NWFP to the eastern front to counter any threat by India thereby releasing the immense pressure of military operations of the Pakistanis that have confounded the forces of terrorism, he added.

An important aspect of this would be that the American Government, which has been the arbiter between Pakistan and India would be in its transition stage and would not be able to intervene during these crucial moments to let sanity prevail, he added.

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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