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India to confront terrorism with 'courage and fortitude', says Pranab

February 08, 2009 18:44 IST

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Insisting that all options are open on dealing with terrorism emanating from Pakistan, The government said on Sunday that nobody should think that India is "helpless" and asserted that the menace would be confronted with "courage and fortitude".
    
Speaking at a conclave of Congress district and block level office-bearers in New Delhi [Images], External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] cautioned against linking the problem of terrorism to any religion.
    
"The perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks [Images] must be punished. Nobody should think that this country is helpless and cannot tackle the situation arising out of terrorism," Mukherjee said.
    
"I repeat all options are open," he added at the conclave which was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images].
    
In a veiled attack on the opposition parties which have accused the Congress-led government of soft-pedalling
terrorism for minority appeasement, he said, "I must utter a word of caution, if not warning, for those elements which try
to misrepresent this issue.... (who say) that this act concerns a particular religion."
    
He asserted that terrorism would be fought with "courage and fortitude". Demanding that Pakistan should fulfill its international commitments to fight terror, Mukherjee said, "We are asking the country from where terrorists had come to fulfill all their commitments which they, as a state, are obliged to do, and not shirk the responsibility."
    
He said Pakistan was committed to the UN resolution of not allowing use of its land for terrorist activity."They have to fulfill their commitment. Perpetrators of terror attacks must be brought to justice," he said. He warned Pakistan not to divert attention from the issue.
    
The External Affairs Minister said terrorism had no religion, no borders and no respect for any nation.




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