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Don't blame Pakistan for everything: Pak PM

Source: PTI
July 13, 2006 20:27 IST
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Amid growing sparring over the terror attacks in Mumbai, Pakistan today said there should be no "knee-jerk reaction" to blame it for "everything happening" in India.

Even before security agencies could reach any conclusion with regard to those behind the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri gave interviews in Washington, DC, to various international media organisations to insist that his country had nothing to do with the terror strikes in India's financial capital.

"Why should there be finger-pointing (against Pakistan) every time?" he asked in an interview to CNN while arguing that high level government officials from India, both civilian and military, have themselves said that the infiltration across the Line of Control "has calmed down drastically."

"India is a vast country, there are attacks in other parts of India, there should not be a knee-jerk reaction that everything happening in India starts from Pakistan," he said.

Although no one has directly held Pakistan responsible for Tuesday's terror attacks which claimed more than 200 lives, Kasuri said "One thing I know, that these people (who are blaming Islamabad) are the enemies of the peace process and we condemn this unequivocally. It's a dastardly act. The government of Pakistan, the president, the prime minister and I have condemned it unreservedly."

In a separate interview to news agency AP, he said, "You can't really blame everything on Pakistan. It is very unfair."

"It is very unfair to attribute all acts of lawlessness or violence to Pakistan because India is a vast country, there are lots of people who have their own agendas, not just in Kashmir," he said.

Kasuri's comments came as India once again asked Pakistan to take urgent steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure existing in territories under Islamabad's control. The Lashkar e Tayiba is suspected to be responsible for the Mumbai attacks but security agencies are yet to reach any conclusion.

Kasuri said Pakistan is prepared to do whatever it can to fight terrorism. Pakistan has "banned many organisations. We are watching everybody. Anybody indulging in any act of terrorism will not be spared."

When asked about the possibility of the Lashkar's involvement in the Mumbai attacks, he said, "If we get evidence, we will definitely follow it up. There's no doubt about it."

He said the Pakistan government "will never tolerate acts of violence or planning on our territory."

Under attack from India over his remarks seeking to link Mumbai blasts to non-resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Kasuri sought to wriggle out of the controversy, claiming that he had been "misquoted".

"It's wrong. I have been misquoted," Kasuri told BBC when asked about his remarks yesterday. He attributed the misquoting to those "who are against the Pakistan-India peace process" and condemned "such an attempt".

"On the issue of Jammu and Kashmir we have not made much progress. There have been some confidence-building measures but even those are half-hearted," he said yesterday.

Kasuri said, "If you have these disputes, it enables negative forces in both countries to blame the other country and exploit the sentiment" and "so I think we should try to take advantage of improved atmosphere and resolve outstanding differences, particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir."

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