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Deliver on promises, India tells Pakistan

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 15, 2008 14:53 IST
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In the first political face-off after the Mumbai attacks, India has bluntly told Pakistan that it needs to 'deliver' on promises to act against Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and other outfits in the terror syndicate operating from its soil in its own interest.

"It is in the interest of Pakistan itself that it delivers. They have to take action to fulfill the assurance that their territory will not be used by organised terror outfits to target India," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said.

New Delhi's tough message was conveyed by Sharma during a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New Delhi.

Asked about reports that Jamaat-ud-Dawah -- a frontal outfit of Lashkar-e-Tayiba -- still operates from Pakistan, the minister told a television channel that it is for the UN Security Council to ensure that the decisions taken against the outfits, which have been proscribed, are firmly implemented by all the member states.

Also, the world body needs to ensure that those individuals named as terrorists were punished.

"When it comes to the various outfits, it is not a question of their names. The world knows who they are, whether it is Let, JeM, Taliban or Al-Qaeda, they are part of the same terror syndicate and unfortunately, they are located, when we talk about their operation base, in our neighbourhood -- to be precise, in the territory of Pakistan. It is, therefore, important for Pakistan also to act," Sharma said.

Qureshi said Pakistan has made a number of suggestions including a joint investigation to get to the bottom of the terror strikes and to support India in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

"We have also offered a high-level delegation led by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to India accompanied by security people, intelligence people to sit with our Indian friends, to work out modalities of cooperation," Qureshi said.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of a conference aimed at fostering cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours.

Qureshi and Sharma were seated next to each other at a news conference on Sunday after the closed-door talks.

Sharma said India had acted with remarkable restraint and maturity in responding to the November 26 attacks and highlighted the urgency with which Pakistan needs to act to dismantle terrorist networks operating on its soil.  

"We all know where these terror outfits are and where the perpetrators are," said Sharma, adding, "The only way forward is to ensure that democracies flourish and the perpetrators of the dastardly attacks are brought to justice quickly."

Asked what was exactly said about the Mumbai attacks at the conference, Sharma said, "There was a sense of outrage and everyone has condemned it without any reservation."

"India is outraged. India has been attacked. There is no question of expectations. No question of hollow promises of words. Assurances have to be fulfilled," Sharma said, when asked what India expects from Pakistan to reassure it.

On India sharing evidence with Pakistan, Sharma said the country has shared evidences in the past and that the world is aware from where the terrorists came.

Qureshi said Pakistan is eager to cooperate with its neighbours in the fight against terror and warned against assigning blame.

"We have offered cooperation and we mean well," he said, adding, "It is so easy to get sucked into a blame game, so easy to point fingers, but we don't want to do that, because that would be counterproductive."

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