Friday, February 13, 2009

All means will be used to end terror coming from Pakistan,' says Pranab

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said that India would use all means at its disposal to end terror coming from Pakistan.

Welcoming the Pakistan Government''s admission that some part of the Mumbai attack conspiracy had been hatched on Pakistani soil, Mukherjee described the 26/11 incident as one of the "most gruesome" manifestations of terrorism."

"Pakistan's response (on Thursday) is a positive response, and we will share whatever we can with the neighbouring country," Mukherjee said.

"It remains India''s goal to bring the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai to book, and to follow this process through to the end. We would also expect that Pakistan takes credible steps to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan," he told corporate executives in the national capital.

Reiterating India''s determination to end the cross-border scourge, Mukherjee said Mumbai was chosen as the target by Pakistani terrorists as they wanted to hit India''s business and corporate "vistas".

Terrorism, he said, poses multi-dimensional challenges and "the Mumbai attack of 26/11 was only the most recent and the most gruesome example of this scourge of terrorism that needs to be tackled in a resolute manner," he said.

Quoting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, "We will spare no effort to deal with terrorist and insurgent groups operating from neighbouring countries. We are determined to put an end to terrorism sponsored from across the border with all the means at our command."

"The government is fully aware and seized of the fact that security is not only of paramount importance in the life of the nation, but is also deeply intertwined to the running of business in our country," he said.

He said a large number of measures and significant steps had been taken to strengthen the apparatus for dealing with emerging challenges to national security. Mukherjee''s response came hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani''s Adviser for Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik, confirmed that part of the strategy for the terror attack on Mumbai between November 26 and 29, 2008, may have been hatched on Pakistan soil.

However, Malik also fired 30 questions at the Indian Government such as details of fingerprints of the 10 gunmen, their intercepted phone conversations with their handlers and the DNA of lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab, saying answers to them were needed by Islamabad to complete a credible probe from its end.

Malik urged India to provide more inputs to help Pakistan secure convictions of personnel allegedly involved in the 26/11 strikes.

Pakistan, he said, wanted Kasab''s national identity card, electronic and digital diaries seized and the confessional statement made by him in the Indian court and details of who helped in refuelling of one of the three boats used by the terrorists.

The other questions relates to the probe by Indian investigators on local links in the Mumbai carnage, call details from each of cellphone used by the terrorists since they had Indian SIM cards and DNA details of the nine dead terrorists.

Pakistan also wanted inputs on how Kasab identified Lashkar-e-Taiba Operations Commander and alleged 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the Government will follow the process of action initiated by Pakistan through to its logical end as it is keen to ensure that perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice.

The statement was issued soon after Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Satyabrata Pal was "informed officially" by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir of Pakistan''s response to the dossier of evidence that India had given to Pakistan on January 5 linking the Mumbai attacks to perpetrators in Pakistan.

It is expected that Mukherjee will give a formal response to Pakistan''s latest disclosure Friday.
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