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'Pak is not a pushover and the US will learn that'

By Sheela Bhatt
Last updated on: May 05, 2011 09:36 IST
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India believes that Pakistan's strategic value to United States will remain the same even though Osama bin Laden, America's number one enemy was found right under the nose of Pakistan's establishment. India not only ruled out the American-style aggression to hunt down enemies, but reiterated that it would continue talks with Pakistan.

The Indian establishment is calculating its losses and gains, two days after bin Laden was killed by American Special Forces. "We got the news at around 7.50 am, much before United States President Barrack Obama informed the world around 9 am," said a highly-placed government source.

India is in favour of continuing talks with Pakistan. India demonstrated resolve to remain rooted to its current policy of "remaining engaged with Pakistan". India also expressed concern about the impact of the situation in Afghanistan, if coalition forces withdrew early. 

The source said that Osama's killing signifies an end to the biggest manhunt ever. He said that Osama symbolised the ugly face of global terrorism. "It is quite 'sensational' that he was found just 80 kilometres away from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan," he said.

The source said that the world needs to remain on a strict vigil, because even if Osama is dead, his ideology lives on. India named terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hijbul Mujahidin, and the war in Afghanistan, which deserve to be fought.

India said Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, has tried to brand Osama as a martyr, and the world should be wary of such developments.

An official source said that the use of terrorism from groups such as the LeT, to push their strategic objective in any nation is not acceptable to India. "There should not be any selective approach in the global war on terrorism," he said.

India's sentiments don't resonate with Pakistan's cries of violation of 'sovereignty' by America. The source said if at all such a thing such as a US chopper flies into India, "We will react very violently. But, then, we are not sheltering terrorists."

India's believe is that the Americans did it because when the US intelligence told their government about the presence of terrorists in Pakistan, Pakistan took no action. The source said, "It's not a text book case of violation of sovereignty."

The source added, "There is a war going on in the region, so war-like conditions apply in this case."

When repeatedly asked if India has any plans to take action the way Americans took in Abbottabad to hunt down anti-India terrorists, the source explained that the Indian foreign policy is not about wishful thinking. 

"We have to deal with reality. Pakistan is a 'hard' country. They are not a push-over, and the US will learn that. At same time we are not helpless. There is a reasonable, sober way of dealing with a neighbour," said the source.

In response to many queries that why India is not pursuing aggressive methods like the Americans to hunt down Dawood Ibrahim and culprits of the 26/11 attacks, the source said that India will continue to demand justice for the Mumbai attacks from Pakistan, but at the same time, argued that the dialogue process was also essential.

The source explained that the aggressive policy vis-a-vis Pakistan is not going to work.

"We can't ignore the reality. The 'giant swatter' is not going to work." The source insisted, "It is very easy to be hawkish and say bring them (Pakistan) to their knees. But then what? The story won't end there."

The source added, "The idea is not to bring Pakistan to its knees. It's not going to help. History will bear me out."

The source said that India has been able to bring back a few fugitives from Dubai with the help of diplomacy. "Even in the 'background briefing,' the government would not like to talk about any such plans, if any," the source added.

Talking about Afghanistan, India repeated that, "Our concern is the people of Afghanistan. We want to strengthen their capabilities."

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
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