Asking the global community to put its “combined pressure” on Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday it was not doing enough to punish the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and asserted that India “will not rest” till it was done.
Paying homage to the innocent civilians who died in the 60-hour assault on Mumbai last November, he said he sincerely hoped that the combined pressure of the world community, including the United States, would work to ensure that the “ghastly act” of Mumbai attacks would not happen again.
Appreciative of the cooperation received from the U.S. after the 26/11 attacks, he said, “I sincerely hope that the world’s conscience will be aroused to take effective action in the hope that our region will be free from the problem of terrorism... I hope that all the civilised countries will work in that direction.”
He said Pakistan should punish the culprits, some of whom are roaming freely, and dismantle the terror infrastructure that continued to pose threat to India.
On the filing of charges against seven Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives in a Pakistani court, Dr. Singh told a press conference here that he was not aware of the development but added that all steps that led to punishment to the culprits were welcome.
Dr. Singh, who discussed the Mumbai attacks case with U.S. President Barack Obama here on Tuesday, underlined that the conspiracy for the assault was “basically” hatched in Pakistan and it must bring to justice those behind it.
“We have taken up the matter with all the force at our command with the government of Pakistan. We expect the masterminds of the attack and their supporters to be tried and punished. The infrastructure of terrorism and all safe havens have to be dismantled,” Dr. Singh said.
“The government will not rest till we have brought the perpetrators of this crime to justice. This is our solemn duty,” Dr. Singh asserted.
On the part of his government, Dr. Singh said, “we will strengthen our internal security measures and do all that is possible to prevent such attacks.”
He noted that several measures had been taken in this regard and an “effective response mechanism to deter such threats in future” put in place.
Reassuring the nation that strengthening internal security was the top priority of the government and “we will leave no stone unturned to safeguard and protect the lives of our citizens,” he said: “We will take more such steps till we are satisfied that we have foolproof arrangements in place.”
To a question on the possibility of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan in Port of Spain later this week on the sidelines of CHOGM, Dr. Singh said nothing was planned as of now.
He, however, added that India could not “simply wish away” Pakistan and issues were discussed whenever politicians met.
Asked about Pakistan Army Chief Pervez Ashraf Kayani’s contention that his country faced the threat of war from India, Dr. Singh emphasised that Pakistan faced “no threat whatsoever from our side.”
“India wants a strong, purposeful and successful Pakistan. It is in our interest and we will continue to work in that direction,” he said.
On whether India was worried by the resurgence of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Prime Minister noted that the fundamentalist militia had gained grip over “mainland” Pakistan lately, which was a cause for worry, not only for Pakistan but “our country” too.
Keywords: India-Pakistan relations, Mumbai terror, 26/11 attack, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, U.S. President, Barack Obama, combined pressure, perpetrators, Pakistan Army Chief, Pervez Ashraf Kayani, LeT