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Will monitor further actions by Pak: India
February 13, 2009 14:24 IST
Last Updated: February 13, 2009 16:43 IST
Welcoming Pakistan's response to the Mumbai [Images] dossier, India today said it will monitor further actions by Islamabad [Images] in ending cross-border terror and underlined that the neighbour has to choose what kind of ties it wants with New Delhi [Images].
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on Pakistan's admission that the conspiracy was partly hatched in that country, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] said much on the future of bilateral ties will depend on what actions Islamabad takes to take the Mumbai case to its logical end. He said the "substantial gains" in the process of normalisation achieved during the last five years are at "grave risk" as the dialogue process is premised on the commitments given by Pakistan that territories under its control would not be used for terrorism against India in any manner.
"In their official response, the Pakistan authorities have admitted that elements in Pakistan were involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai... This is a positive development," Mukherjee told the House, a day after Islamabad conveyed its response.
He noted that Pakistan is still in the process of investigating the attacks and have taken certain actions, including the arrest of some of those who were involved and filed FIRs in Pakistan.
Mukherjee noted that Pakistan has sought further information and material relating to the investigation and said India will share whatever it can after examining the issues raised in Islamabad's response.
Noting that the November 26, 2008 attack was not the first terror strike in India having emanated from Pakistan, he said "nonetheless, with Mumbai, a threshold was crossed and it was imperative that Pakistan act credibly against that infrastructure to prevent further attacks."
He gave details about developments and India's approach in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks, including sharing of evidence with the world to build pressure on Pakistan.
"We are at a point in our relationship where the authorities in Pakistan itself have to choose the kind of relationship that they want with India in the future," he said, adding "much depends on actions in the Mumbai case reaching their logical conclusion".
He said India "will continue to review the situation including Pakistan's responses and will take further steps that we deem necessary in order to protect our people."
Mukherjee pointed out that India has been constantly guided by the two objectives of ensuring that those who planned, organised and trained the attackers of Mumbai are brought to justice and that the infrastructure of terrorism which exists in Pakistan is dismantled so that there is no recurrence of such attacks.
Responding to the Indian dossier of evidence given on January five, Pakistan yesterday admitted that part of the conspiracy had been hatched in that country and said it had filed cases against nine terrorists and arrested six of them.
Pakistan, while yielding to the massive world pressure, also acknowledged that Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in the
Mukherjee said handing over of the dossier was the fourth formal communication made to Pakistan by India. He listed the
three previous ones as his telephonic talk with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, issuing of demarche and
forwarding a letter written by Ajmal Amir Kasab [Images], the lone Pakistani terrorist held during the attacks.
He said Pakistan earlier tried to divert attention from the terrorist attack and its responsibilities to other issues. Pakistan engaged in "prevarication, denial, diversionary tactics and misplaced sense of victimhood" after the Mumbai attack, the External Affairs Minister said.
"Pakistan's political leadership did condemn the terrorist attack and promised us full cooperation in investigating the conspiracy in Pakistan," he said. "I do not discount in any way either their intent or their sincerity but the fact remains that the overwhelming response of official Pakistan to the Mumbai attack was not appropriate to a terrorist attack where innocents were massacred in cold blood," he said.
Mumbai attacks were "a crime committed on India, the conspiracy for which was hatched, planned and organised in Pakistan," the External Affairs Minister said in a suo motu statement.
He said India has "continued to use all means available and heightened our diplomatic activity to achieve the goals set for us, namely, to bring the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai to book and to seek credible steps by Pakistan to ensure that there would be no recurrence of such attacks."
The international community has worked with India, using its influence on Pakistan to ensure that the terrorist infrastructure and the support provided to such elements is put to an end, he said.
Describing terrorism emanating from Pakistan as a threat to the entire world and not only to India, Mukherjee said "the major onus of responsibility to eliminate this threat rests on the government of Pakistan."
"The threat of terrorism from Pakistan has emerged as a global menace and cancer... It is imperative that it (Pakistan) act with sincerity and act effectively against the license that terrorist groups enjoy in its territory," the External Affairs Minister said.
"It is essential that the assurances given to us repeatedly at the highest level by Pakistan leaders are implemented as solemn commitments," he said.
"The primary onus of responsibility lies on Pakistan to fully unveil the conspiracy, identify those guilty and act in a transparent and verifiable manner," Mukherjee said.
He pointed out that the composite dialogue process with Pakistan has been at a "pause" and no meeting has taken place
or scheduled because of continued terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country.
At the same time, the External Affairs Minister emphasised that India has "no quarrel" with the people of Pakistan whom he wished well.
"We do not think that they should be held responsible or face the consequences of this situation. We have, therefore, consciously and after due deliberation not thought it necessary or fit to curtail people-to-people contacts, trains and road links," he said.
He said India has made it clear that the terrorist attack on Mumbai again underlined the "grave threat" that terrorism poses to peace and stability and "therefore has to be seen in the context of the global challenge of terrorism".
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