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Pakistan must give cast iron guarantees: India

January 04, 2009 17:42 IST

Holding that Pakistan will have to give cast iron guarantees that its soil will not be used to launch a terror attack like Mumbai [Images] carnage, India has said that it will have to pay an enormous price if such a strike is repeated.

"What we now want are cast iron guarantees that no state actors or non-state ones will be allowed to use Pakistani soil or sources to launch an attack on India," Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] said.

"Guarantees have to come from those who control the levers of power and that means, the elected civilian government, plus the army. These are not guarantees that you can execute on a piece of paper. These are guarantees that have to be given to the international community," he said.

Asked if Islamabad [Images] is capable of honouring such guarantees, Chidambaram said, "I think so, if all the power centres of Pakistan genuinely get together and guarantee that this will not be repeated. See, the price they will pay if this is repeated, I think (it) will be an enormous price."

On if a terrorist in Pakistan takes this as an opportunity that in case he does a strike, India goes to war, he said, "I don't think we would be talking about war now. I think war is not the word I used.

"I don't know the mind of a terrorist but as I said a crime of this scale and size cannot be committee without active help. That is, I am entitled to presume that. And therefore, repetition of a crime of this size and scale means that aid and help continue to flow from the state."

He also said that Pakistan's offer of joint investigation will be relevant only when it admits that Ajmal Kasab [Images], the lone terrorist caught during the Mumbai attacks, is a Pakistani citizen.

Chidambaram, who is scheduled to visit the US next week, said, "Pakistan's offer of joint investigation is a meaningless offer. Pakistan's offer is relevant only when it admits that Kasab is a Pakistani citizen and Kasab's handlers were Pakistani.

"They have never admitted that. Why do you want to jointly investigate something with which you say your citizens have no connection at all?" he asked.

Replying to questions, the Home Minister said "somebody who is familiar with intelligence and who is familiar with commando operation has directed this (Mumbai) operation. And that cannot entirely be a non-state actor.

"In fact, I presume they are state actors or state-assisted actors unless the contrary is proved. It is too enormous a crime and required elaborate planning, communication networks and financial backing. It was a very, very sophisticated operation."

On the issue of evidence in the form of Kasab's DNA, the Home Minister said, "his DNA is available...Now there is a person in Faridkot village in Pakistan who says he is his father. His DNA is available in Pakistan. So if somebody matches the DNA, we will know who is right and who is wrong."

Pakistan, he said, knew the kind of evidence which India has on Mumbai strikes.

"Pakistan is in total denial because it knows that it will be completely embarrassed if the truth comes out and the truth will come out, whether Pakistan likes it or not. Denials are getting weaker and denials are becoming hollow now."

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