Dec 13, 2008

India - house arrest, sealing won’t do

Sandeep Dikshit

Dismantle terror infrastructure, Pakistan told

NEW DELHI: India has told United States interlocuters that it remains unimpressed with the house arrest of the chief of the Jamat-ud-Dawah and the reported sealing of some of the offices of this front organisation of the Laskhar-e-Taiba. The steps initiated by Pakistan should be taken to their logical conclusion, including dismantling of the terror infrastructure. This was conveyed during a telephonic conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on Wednesday and during meetings with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte on Friday.

Pointing out that its penal code was the same as Pakistan’s, India said it did not think the restraint orders on the men identified as terrorists by the United Nations Security Council were sufficient steps. For, this was done briefly earlier also by Islamabad after the Parliament House attack in 2001.

The Indian position was also endorsed by Germany, which said the arrest of the LeT chief was not sufficient and Pakistan must do more to ensure that its territory was not used for committing violence in third countries. German Home Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told journalists that, “forbidding an organisation is one thing and to avoid crimes is another.” While advising Pakistan to “ensure that nobody commits terrorist attacks or other crimes,” he admitted that it was a “difficult situation” for Islamabad and wondered if there was any alternative.

Mr. Schaeuble who, among others, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, said he was told that the intention behind the several acts of terror that rocked India was to provoke Hindus and Muslims and cause tension. He appreciated India’s response that did not include the option of military strikes and saw dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan as the only solution.

Meanwhile, Mr. Negroponte, in his meetings with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Mr. Narayanan, agreed that the attacks should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for perpetrating these incidents brought to account.

“A positive step”

PTI reports from Washington/Islamabad:

Ms. Rice, Mr. Negroponte and State Department spokesman Sean McCormack spoke in tandem, sending a strong signal to Pakistan that more needed to be done to prevent future terror attacks. Mr. McCormack, however, termed the crackdown in Pakistan on radical elements a “positive step.”

Diplomatic sources told PTI in Islamabad that Mr. Negroponte assured the Pakistani leadership that the U.S. would prevent any military action as long as Pakistan continued taking action against banned terror groups.

No comments: