Criticising Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf for not keeping promises on anti-terrorist steps, Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday categorically ruled out withdrawal of troops from the Indo-Pak borders in near future.
Addressing the Congress workers in an anti-terrorism rally in Kolkata, the defence minister made it clear that without active support from across the border, the present act of 'senseless violence and terror' was not possible.
Questioning the sincerity of President Musharraf regarding his earlier commitment to root out terrorism from his country, Mukherjee alleged that on the contrary as many as 29 launching pads continued to remain active in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for sending armed infiltrators and terrorists across the Indian borders to Jammu and Kashmir with their logistics support coming from the administration.
"Under the present circumstances, there is no question of withdrawing our troops from the Indo-Pak borders which might encourage the Pakistan-based extremist groups to infiltrate more and create terror," he said.
Quoting from latest defence data, the Defence minister claimed that as a result of senseless violence during the past 17 years in Jammu and Kashmir more than 37,000 innocent civilians had lost their lives which was three times more than the number of troops killed during the two Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971 and in the Indo-China war in 1962.
Referring to the fast returning to normalcy of Mumbai city in the aftermath of July 12 blast, Mukherjee said the financial nerve centre of the nation had proved to the rest of the world that violence had failed to create any major impact on the survival instinct of the common people and proved the national spirit of unity.