NEW DELHI, Dec 22: India urged the international community on Monday to press Pakistan to weed out from its soil runaway terrorists who it says were behind the recent massacre in Mumbai and posed a great threat to global security.
Briefing Indian ambassadors from different world capitals, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said New Delhi was also aware that eventually it might have to deal with the problem on its own and it was keeping all options open for this.
“We have so far acted with utmost restraint and are hopeful that the international community will use its influence to urge Pakistani government to take effective action,” Mr Mukherjee said. “While we continue to persuade the international community and Pakistan, we are also clear that ultimately it is we who have to deal with this problem. We will take all measures necessary, as we deem fit, to deal with the situation.”
In a rare reference to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), usually relegated to the backseat in moments of crisis like the current one triggered by the Mumbai attacks, Mr Mukherjee claimed credit for helping the group make its transition from rhetoric to action. But even in this Pakistan was not up to the mark, he said.
“In our neighbourhood we have continued with our efforts to deepen engagement, either bilaterally or multilaterally and even by assuming a built-in asymmetry in responsibilities. An objective assessment shows that this policy has yielded results except with Pakistan,” he said.
“The recent terrorist attack on Mumbai was unprecedented both in terms of its scale and audacity,” the minister said. “This and the series of terrorist incidents preceding it, including the attack on our embassy in Kabul where we lost our colleagues, indicate that terrorism emanating out of Pakistan is acquiring an increasingly dangerous dimension and continues to threaten peace and stability in this region and beyond.”
India had so far worked at several levels, he said. “At the international level we have sought the support of the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to deal effectively with terrorism. We have highlighted that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan has to be dismantled permanently.”
India was not saying this just because it was affected but because it believed that it would be good for the entire world and also for Pakistani people and society, he said.
“This terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan is the greatest terrorist danger to peace and security of the entire civilised world,” Mr Mukherjee said. There had been some effort so far by the international community but this was not enough, he said.
“Much more needs to be done and the actions should be pursued to their logical conclusion. We need effective steps not only to bring those responsible for the Mumbai attacks to justice, but also to ensure that such acts of terrorism do not recur,” Mr Mukherjee said.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan’s response so far has demonstrated their earlier tendency to resort to a policy of denial and to seek to deflect and shift the blame and responsibility. We expect the civilian government of Pakistan to take effective steps to deal with elements within Pakistan who still continue to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.”