London: Calling Pakistan the “epicentre of terrorism”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the world community “has to come to grips with this harsh reality” and slammed Islamabad for failing to take “effective action” to curb the menace.
Ahead of his maiden meeting with US President Barack Obama tomorrow, Singh said the world has a responsibility that Pakistan lives up to the promise that it will not allow its territory to be used to promote acts of terrorism directed against India.
He said not taking any action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks is a “living proof” that Pakistan is not taking effective action to control terrorrism.
“That is living proof that despite many promises made by Pakistan since 2004 to my predecessor and to me that Pakistan will not be allowed to be used to undertake acts of terror against India, in practice no effective action has been taken to control terror,” Singh told ‘Financial Times’ in an interview, ahead of his visit here to attend the G-20 summit.
“We all know the epicentre of terrorism in the world today is Pakistan. The world community has to come to grips with this harsh reality,” said the Prime Minister, who arrived here yesterday.
He said the 26/11 attacks were planned and acted upon in Pakistani territory is now admitted by everybody, including the intelligence agencies of developed countries.
Asked why Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, has been able to bounce back so quickly, Singh said: “It is because the promises that the government of Pakistan have made to control terrorism and all its instrumentalities, they are either not able to control them or they are not willing to control them.”
The Prime Minister said India and US would like both Afghanistan and Pakistan to be free from the hold of terrorist elements.
Asked how did he assess the chances of success for Obama’s just-released AfPak strategy, he said: “I have not studied the Obama plan. We are victims of terrorism and we hope that whatever the world community plans to do they will pay adequate attention that terrorism ceases to be a problem in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan.”
Singh said it has been India’s experience in the past that there are elements in the armed forces of Pakistan, some segments of the ISI involved in perpetrating acts of terror, particularly the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.
“We have been told that the ISI in Pakistan has a different mindset. I hope that is right,” he said.
Asked why Pakistan has not been able to tackle terrorism, Singh said: “I’m not an expert on how Pakistan is being run. But the proof of pudding is in the eating. That the attacks on Mumbai were planned and acted upon in Pakistani territory is now admitted by everybody.