'99 per cent terror strikes have been prevented'
Let's take a look at what our national leaders have to say about the Mumbai serial blasts:
Asserting that the government had promptly responded to the Mumbai serial blasts, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said though 99 per cent terror strikes in the country had been prevented due to vigilance and intelligence, the aim was to achieve a 100 per cent result.
Conveying condolences to all families affected by Wednesday's blasts, the All India Congress Committee general secretary said the United Progressive Alliance government had promptly handled the situation and has been working in the right direction to tackle the menace.
Due to effective vigilance and surveillance, 99 per cent of the terror attacks in the country have been contained, but the government aims at checking the menace by 100 per cent, he told reporters.
However, it is difficult to stop every terror incident even though the country has improved by leaps and bounds in combating the menace, Gandhi said.
"It is something we will fight and defeat," he said.
Reminded that there had been terror attacks in the United States after the 9/11 strike whereas India often faced the menace, Gandhi said Americans had been facing attacks in other places like Afghanistan.
Image: A file photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
'Talks with US, Pakistan on schedule'
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Thursday said the deadly Mumbai bomb blasts will have no impact on the strategic dialogue with the United States and the peace talks with Pakistan scheduled later in July.
"They are (on schedule). There is no change in the scheduled visits of Secretary Clinton or the foreign minister of Pakistan," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.
He was interacting with the media on the sidelines of his talks with Burhanuddin Rabbani, chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is arriving in Delhi on Monday for the second round of the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue.
Krishna is expected to hold talks with the Pakistan foreign minister towards the end of July to review the progress of the bilateral peace process that was revived earlier this year.
Ahead of the ministerial talks, the foreign secretaries of the two countries are expected to hold discussions. Krishna's remarks come in the backdrop of three serial bomb blasts in Mumbai onWednesday evening that left 18 people dead and 81 injured.
The external affairs minister condemned the "dastardly and heinous attacks on Mumbai" and said that the State will do everything within its power to bring the guilty to justice at the earliest.
"This is yet another grim reminder to everyone in this region and our country that terror is a continuing threat to India and it is necessary for all Indians to be ever vigilant of these terrorist attacks," he said.
Rabbani, also a former Afghanistan president, expressed sincere condolences over the innocent lives lost in the Mumbai blasts.
Image: A file photo of S M Krishna
Protect Mumbaikars from terror: Uddhav
Lambasting the Congress for its alleged failure and inaction against terrorism, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that instead of just saluting the resilient spirit of Mumbaikars, the government should see to it that innocent people don't suffer.
"The (Congress) rulers salute Mumbai's spirit and then easily forget everything. Why should innocent people suffer? Who will take the responsibility (of the attack)? They (government) should be taken to task," Uddhav told reporters outside J J Hospital, where he had gone to visit some of the injured victims of Wednesday's serial bomb blasts.
Asked about the responsibility of the Centre and intelligence agencies, an angry Uddhav said, "This is happening way too often. Is there a government at the Centre? Every two to three years the city gets attacked by terrorists."
After meeting some of the injured victims, the Sena leader said, "So many injured, some lost their legs and hands, what is their fault?"
Uddhav had earlier visited the blast victims admitted at KEM Hospital in central Mumbai.
At least 18 people were killed and 141 injured in three blasts that rocked Mumbai on Thursday evening.
Image: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray visits the injured victims at the hospital
Photographs: Sahil Salvi