Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday urged Pakistan's “friends'' like Britain and the U.S. to put pressure on it to shut down terror camps operating from its soil.
Warning that Pakistan-based groups posed as much threat to the West as they did to India, he told the BBC, “The camps must be closed. Training must come to an end.''
Mr. Chidambaram, who discussed counter-terror measures with his British counterpart Alan Johnson during a visit to the U.K. earlier this week, regretted that Pakistan had failed to respond to India's persistent plea for it to rein in terror groups
“Nothing so far,'' was his reply to a question whether there had been any progress.
Asked how could Pakistan be persuaded, he said: “The U.K., the U.S. know the answer to that question better. Certainly, we have not been able to persuade Pakistan. It is Pakistan's friends, mutual friends, who would have to bring pressure on Pakistan.”
He said it would be “naïve” for Western countries to think that terrorists operating from Pakistan posed a threat to India alone.
“Once you allow these terror groups to train, recruit and build capacity to strike, they can strike in India, they can strike in the U.K., they can strike in Denmark as they were planning out of the Karachi project,” he said.
He added: “No country is truly safe...Don't think that India alone is under threat. Every country is under threat from these groups and the Lashkar-e-Taiba today is like the Al Qaeda, a multi-country group.”
Answering questions about the recent terror attack in Pune, the Home Minister admitted that there was a security lapse.
“Pune was a case where it slipped through the cracks. Pune was a target. There was specific intelligence shared by the Central government with the Maharashtra police and the government. The area, Koregaon Park, was under a security cover. Three times advisory was given to German Bakery and its managers acknowledged the advisory on every single occasion, but they did nothing. They did not even take the minimum security precautions. So, it is an unfortunate case that I would say slipped through the cracks.”
Describing it as “a blot,'' he said the lesson to be learnt from the Pune case was that “when there is intelligence, pointed intelligence and advisories are issued, people must cooperate…shops, establishments, hotels, malls must take minimal security precautions.”
About the Pune bombing's alleged Pakistan connection, he said: “Nothing so far has been brought to my notice.”