Islamabad must act, says Pranab Mukherjee

Islamabad must act, says Pranab Mukherjee
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First Published: Sun, Dec 21 2008. 04 13 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Dec 21 2008. 04 13 PM IST
Kolkata: Taking a tough stance, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that Pakistan had been given enough evidence regarding the Mumbai terror attacks and “Islamabad must act”.
“Pakistan has been contradicting its statements. Enough evidence has been given to Pakistan. Pakistan must cooperate and not contradict us. Mere talk is not enough. Pakistan has to act,” Mukherjee told a conference at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce here.
“Instead of contradiction and denial, they will have to take action,” Mukherjee added.
“We can deal only with the government of the day. Therefore, all arguments which are coming from the other side (Pakistan) are not really convincing”, Mukherjee said.
The first reaction from Islamabad was that non-state actors were involved in the attacks, he recalled. “Non-state actors do not come from heaven, nor do they operate from another planet,” he said.
“But from wherever they are operating, it is the responsibility of the incumbent government to deal with them,” he said, adding that “we cannot chase the so-called non-state actors in another country. They will have to take the action”.
“I have never used the word Pakistan government but I have deliberately used the word that some elements in Pakistan. Evidence clearly indicate (their involvement),” the minister said.
“We have the evidence, including intercepts of the conversation via satellite. Yesterday I described the conversation as a chilling account. The captured living terrorist (Amir Ajmal Kasab) gave the chilling account of what transpired between him and the controller from that side. They were monitoring Indian television. We have this type of information,” he said.
Pakistan must pursue these evidence and take action, he said, noting that “words must be followed up by action”.
‘It’s sinister to link Islam with terror’
External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee has said there was a sinister design to link Islam with terrorism.
“There are some scholars who had coined the term Islamic terrorism. Islam is a religion of love and compassion. There is a sinister ploy to link terrorism with Islam,” the minister said here at a seminar organised by a city-based trade body.
There may be some socio-economic indicators which may lead to some frustration among some Muslim youths who had gone astray. “These are exceptions,” he said.
He described terrorists as the “biggest violators of human rights having no religion or boundary.”
The minister also strongly endorsed the view of founder president of the trade body Feroze Ali that India was not a ‘soft state’ and was determined to fight the menace of terrorism.
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First Published: Sun, Dec 21 2008. 04 13 PM IST