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Updated: October 18, 2011 12:24 IST

Manmohan: nothing new in Headley trial

Siddharth Varadarajan
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Speaking to reporters on his way back from a week-long visit to Africa, Dr. Singh today said David Coleman Headley’s trial in the U.S. has not brought out anything new and asked the Pakistani leadership to wake up to terror threat. File Photo
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Speaking to reporters on his way back from a week-long visit to Africa, Dr. Singh today said David Coleman Headley’s trial in the U.S. has not brought out anything new and asked the Pakistani leadership to wake up to terror threat. File Photo

"But Pakistani leadership must now wake up to terror threat"

Self-confessed Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Coleman Headley's ongoing court testimony — in which he has implicated individuals allegedly connected to Pakistan's intelligence agency in the November 2008 terror attack on Mumbai — has not brought out anything India did not already know, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday.

He also said he would continue to use the bilateral dialogue process to press home the demand that Islamabad take action to curb the activities of jihadi groups and would also mobilise world opinion to ensure the “terror machinery” in Pakistan was effectively controlled.

Speaking to journalists on his way back from a week-long visit to Africa, Dr. Singh said that even though the Headley trial had not brought out anything new, his government would study the proceedings once it was over. But he gave no indication that a rethink of the current dialogue-based policy towards Pakistan was on the cards. “It goes without saying that we must use every possible opportunity to talk to Pakistan and convince them that terror as an instrument of state policy is simply not acceptable to people in the civilised world as a whole. And as Pakistan's neighbour, we have great worries about the terror machine that is still intact [there].”

The Prime Minister said India had to work on two fronts. “One is the bilateral negotiations with Pakistan. We must convince the Pakistani leadership that it is in their own interest that they must help us in tackling the problem of terror in our region, and that those jihadi groups who target India [are] ... effectively curbed and dealt with.” This was an ongoing process and India must use every opportunity it gets to drive home this point, he said.

The second front was global: “The world has seen as never before that the epicentre of terror is in our neighbourhood, they appreciate India's worry, and it should be our effort to mobilise world opinion to ensure that this terror machine, which operates in our neighbourhood in Pakistan, is brought under effective control.”

In the wake of the recent terrorist attack on a naval base in Karachi, Dr. Singh said he hoped that Pakistan would now recognise that “the monster of terrorism which they unleashed at one time is hurting them as much as it can hurt our country.” The more he saw what was happening there, he added, the more convinced he was that Pakistan's leaders “must now wake up and recognise that that the terror machine that they, or at least some elements of that country, have patronised is not working to anybody's advantage.”

Asked whether he was considering making a visit to Pakistan this year, the Prime Minister said he had not made up his mind on that yet. “But I have always believed that good relations between India and all its neighbours are very desirable and essential for us in South Asia to realise our development ambitions.”

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I don't know why the PM would insist on Pakistan's terror machinery being under "effective control" rather than "completely dismantled"! I do agree with the PM that Headley's testimony really has not told us anything new at all, but I differ in my opinion that all we can do is insist upon Pakistan that its 'terrorist baby Frankenstein' is harmful to all. There does need to be some semblance of India holding Pakistan accountable, and the serious consequences, not necessarily military, of these actions.

from:  Samir Mody
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 13:59 IST

The Prime Minister's utterances are shocking. Headley has deposed in the US trial court about the links of ISI-army and 26/11 Mumbai players. This confessions is a proof that Pakistan is wedded to terrorism. What else does our PM expect?

from:  Sravana Ramachandran
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 12:01 IST

It is amusing to understand that why Pakistan is not taking any step against terrorism, which is ruining life of people all along the world as well as people of Pak. They should understand that terrorists have no religion and they are enemy of humanity.

Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 09:52 IST

This is absolute nonsense by Man Mohan Singh, dismissing startling revelations by Headley in the on-going trial , especially with reference to the ISI, as something we all knew before. None of the details surfacing now, have been either reported by the Media or by the government till date. The identity of persons like Major Iqbal of ISI and the e-mail communications are out in the open only during Headley's admission in the on-going trial now.

To claim credit that we know this before is totally false and misleading, and above all unbelievable,given the fact that now we all know that Headley was able to visit India and go out once after the 26/11 massacre without any eyebrows raised!!!!! ( Not sure one has to laugh or feel sorry for our intelligence establishment, notwithstanding the latest goof-ups on the wanted list!!)

How is that our PM says that India is in the know of all these things before? It is a position gross stupidity that MMS is trying to take as head of the Govt. and is obviously against India's interests. To undervalue such a wealth of information which could be used to put Pakistan on mat, and exert diplomatic and moral pressure, he seems to have a magic solution, that of talking and cajoling Pakistan into accepting all these and hand-over the wanted 'terrorists' to India !!!!!!!!!

It will be difficult for us to extricate from the knots which MMS is tying India into, especially on the current Indian policy of being soft and following a dialogue-only option, towards Pakistan.He is also very poor in learning from past mistakes , like the one at Sharm-El-Shiek and continues to mouth absurdities.The sooner this man leaves office the better it will be for India.

I appeal to all patriotic parties in the opposition who are providing crutches to this otherwise minority Govt. to recconsider their support and help in throwing this GOvt. out, which is creating mess all around. MMS has proved that he lacks what it takes to run a state and must be shown the door at the earliest.

Pakistan must be treated with an iron glove and there is no reason for us to go begging to talk to them for buying peace , it is they who have to come to us for saving their country from a state of terminal decline.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 08:20 IST

Manmohan Singh has two main accomplishments under his belt as Prime Minister -

1. Provide lip service by releasing a weak and hollow statement every 3 months that "we will not tolerate curroption". What barefaced rubbish!

2. We will not bow to terrorism and not give in.

We belong to the weakest nation on earth! Did he forget we have lost umpteen number of our people to terror attacks from across the border? Unless politicians and their families go through what the common man on the street does, these good for nothing people (no matter how many honorary doctorates they get) will be just that!

from:  Daksh
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 07:36 IST

The PM is indirectly supporting the Pakistanis, by telling that the terrorist machinery has to be controlled.It has to be ABOLISHED. As long as the UPA is in power Pakistanis will attack us with impunity and the Congress Party will be happy as the Muslim vote bank will be placated.
Shame on these people who are nothing less than traitors of the country.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 07:32 IST

Diplomacy has had 60 years to prove itself. It hasn't worked. Time for some "out of the box" solution that includes addressing the China-problem. Recognize Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang as an independent state and China will pee in their pants. As for Pakistan, a combined NATO, US and India operation is required to wipe out the terror camps which Pakistan has allowed to florish covertly.

from:  mukesh raj dass
Posted on: May 29, 2011 at 02:25 IST
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