Voicing India’s disappointment over Pakistan not prosecuting perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday made it known to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that it expects tangible action on the terror issue.
Wrapping up his four-day visit, Mr. Chidambaram who met Ms. Clinton and other top officials, said he had told them about Hafeez Sayeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, roaming free despite evidence — over six dossiers — provided by India.
“I think, the U.S. understands the difference between the way India’s approach to the post 26/11 situation and the way has Pakistan approached the same. It is enough to draw attention to the difference and leave it there,” he said, when asked if the U.S. is exerting enough pressure on Pakistan to take action against terrorists targeting India from its soil.
The Home Minister said he had not asked specifically to “push for this and that” during his interaction with the Indian media here to a question if he had sought U.S. assistance to ensure that Pakistan takes action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.
“I did brief them on the State of the trial of Ajmal ‘Kasab’ (the lone surviving Mumbai attack terrorist) in India and I also did mention about no progress in Pakistan in respect of the five or six people they have arrested — Hafeez Sayeed remains a free man. I think that is enough. They know to draw the lessons from that statement,” he said.
Responding to a question, Mr. Chidambaram said the next level of Indo-U.S. relationship does not mean “leaning on” Pakistan. “Next level means many things. It means working together on security related matters.”
During his parleys, the Minister also stated that the security threats emanating from Pakistan soil have not diminished. He said there has been an increase in infiltration from the Pakistan side.
“We make estimates based upon human and technical intelligence. The numbers are now ruling at about 50 to 60 a month. And the number of people we apprehend is also very high. So, our assessment is that the level of infiltration has increased since the month of May, 2009”, he said.
The Obama Administration has come out in support of India’s stand on pre-conditions for talks with Pakistan.
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said the progress made by Pakistan in bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice and stopping cross border infiltration would lay the basis of resumption of talks between the two south Asian neighbours.
“The progress is needed first to bring the Mumbai suspects, who are already in custody for trial, to prosecute them and also to stop cross border infiltration so that there is not another attack such as what happened in Mumbai,” he said.