Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the killing of Osama bin Laden near Islamabad is further evidence that terrorists find “sanctuary” in Pakistan. – File Photo

NEW DELHI: The killing of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden near Islamabad is further evidence that terrorists find “sanctuary” in Pakistan, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Monday.

“We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which President Obama said that the firefight in which Osama bin Laden was killed took place in Abbottabad 'deep inside Pakistan',” Chidambaram said in a statement.

“This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan,” Chidambaram said as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged Islamabad to take action against militants.

“The international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilised behaviour and kill innocent men, women and children,” Singh said.

The premier said he hoped bin Laden's killing would deal a “decisive blow to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

India accuses Pakistan of providing shelter and support to militant groups planning attacks on Indian soil and has repeatedly pushed the global community - the United States in particular - to censure Pakistan accordingly.

US President Barack Obama said the operation to kill bin Laden was the result of cooperation with Pakistan, but US officials admitted that they had not informed Islamabad before the strike by US forces.

Home Minister Chidambaram focused on India's belief that perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks continue to be sheltered in Pakistan.

“We once again call upon the government of Pakistan to arrest the persons whose names have been handed over,” he said.

In a separate statement, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said the US success in killing bin Laden was an “historic development and victorious milestone” in the global war on terror.

But, in another clear reference to Pakistan, he also stressed the need to root out militant safe havens in South Asia.

“The world must not let down its united effort to overcome terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood,” he said.

The same message was hammered home by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who said Pakistan had a long history of denying evidence that it was aiding and abetting militant groups.

“This incident establishes that Pakistan has been sheltering terrorists and now the country must take steps against them,” he told reporters after visiting a military post in the desert region of Jaisalmer bordering Pakistan.

Lalit Mansingh, a former ambassador to the United States, said he believed Obama's mention of Pakistani cooperation was aimed at deflecting any criticism that the US special operation may have infringed Pakistani sovereignty.

“The fact is that Pakistan is going to have to answer some uncomfortable questions arising from this, not least of which is how bin Laden was able to hide so close to Islamabad for so long,” Mansingh told AFP.

“One suspects he must have had some help from figures in the Pakistani establishment,” he added.

Opinion

Editorial

Pawn sacrifice
Updated 19 Aug, 2022

Pawn sacrifice

Concerns over torture allegedly perpetrated against Gill are valid and must be looked into forthwith.
Frozen conflict
19 Aug, 2022

Frozen conflict

THE recent discovery of the body of an Indian soldier lost in an ice storm on the Siachen glacier 38 years ago yet...
Deadly rains
19 Aug, 2022

Deadly rains

THERE seems to be no end to our monsoon misery. Deadly rains continue to lash several parts of the country,...
The fall guy
Updated 18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

Maryam’s public distancing from Miftah over recent fuel price hike is quite uncalled for.
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...