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Kasuri issue: India set to tear Pak apart

By BS Political Bureau
July 13, 2006 05:17 IST
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In a prelude to what is going to be a full-fledged propaganda attack on Pakistan to be launched by India in the next two or three days, New Delhi lobbed its first missile today.

The foreign office described as "appalling" Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's statement which sought to link the bomb blasts in Mumbai to the so-called lack of resolution of disputes between the two countries.

New Delhi asked Islamabad to take urgent steps to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism existing in territories controlled by Pakistan and act in the spirit of the Joint Statement reached between the two countries on January 6, 2004.

With the composite dialogue already in tatters and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran hinting that Confidence Building Measures might be reviewed, India's collective psychological state was similar to what it was after the Parliament attack in 2002 that led to Operation Parakram, the famous 18-month military standoff between two nuclear-weapon nations.

Responsible sources in the government rejected any military moves but did say that in the next two or three days, India would launch a diplomatic and propaganda offensive, the first part of which was unveiled today.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Navtej Sarna said 'no cause' could justify killing of innocent people.

Reacting to remarks attributed to Kasuri, who is currently in the US, Sarna said, "We find it appalling that Foreign Minister Kasuri should seek to link the blatant and inhuman act of terrorism against innocent men, women and children to the so-called lack of resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan."

Although Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf was the first one to condemn the bomb blasts in Mumbai yesterday, India has apparently not bought his criticism of those he once termed "freedom fighters".

Khurshid Ahmad Kasuri had said, "I think the Mumbai incident ... underlines the need for the two countries to work together to control this environment, but they can only do so if they resolve their disputes. We should try and take advantage of this improved atmosphere and resolve outstanding disputes, particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir."

Initially, India reacted in a rather muted manner. "The international community has to speak in one voice against terrorism. Pakistan should fully join the battle in isolating and eliminating terrorists," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said earlier in the day.
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BS Political Bureau