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Terror sanctuaries must be destroyed: India

Ajay Kaul in Kabul | January 23, 2009 00:21 IST

In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India has said there are some countries which are recognised as 'epicentre' of terrorism and they should refuse sanctuaries for terrorists.

Coverage: 26/11 Terror Strikes

"Nests and sanctuaries are located in territories of some countries," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] said in Kabul on Thursday, adding that there was no need to name them.

"There are some countries which are recognised as epicentre of terrorism," he told a press conference at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Afghanistan.

Mukherjee said all countries should refuse sanctuary and shelter to terrorists and fight the menace of terrorism at all cost.

"These sanctuaries should be destroyed," he said.

Asked where the terror camps existed, he said: "We have mentioned it to the concerned country and the concerned country knows it."

Maintaining that all countries should fulfil their international and bilateral obligations and deny sanctuary to terrorists, Mukherjee said: "They will have to fight against the menace of terrorism at whatever cost."

"This menace has to be checked. Terrorism [Images] is not confined to any geographical boundary. Terrorist attacks are taking place across the world," he said.

"All countries are obliged as part of their international commitment to destroy terror camps and take strong action against terror activists," he said.

In his discussions with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Mukherjee said it was decided to fight the menace of terrorism jointly without compromising with the terrorists.

"We have decided to strengthen intelligence mechanism, sharing of information," he said when asked about a joint strategy with Afghanistan.

On British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's controversial remarks linking resolution of the Kashmir issue with terrorism, Mukherjee asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India.

"As far as Kashmir is concerned it is integral part of India. People of the state exercised democratic right freely in recently held election. They (people of Kashmir) participated (in elections) despite boycott call by a section of people in the state. Still there was record unprecedented turnout of 61.5 per cent," he said.

Mukherjee noted that India and Pakistan had agreed under the Simla Agreement, Lahore [Images] Agreement and all bilateral mechanisms that all outstanding issues are to be resolved through bilateral dialogue.

"So there is no need to look at terror attack in Mumbai [Images] or earlier terror attacks as linked to the so-called solution of Jammu and Kashmir [Images]. They have no relation to problem of Jammu and Kashmir. It is part of global terrorism," he said.

"International community will have to take it as part of global terrorism and deal with it accordingly," Mukherjee said.

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