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Updated: September 12, 2009 02:08 IST

Security threats from Pakistan have not lessened: Chidambaram

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Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department in Washington on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department in Washington on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Security threats to India from militant groups operating from Pakistani soil have not diminished, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Friday.

He also said that there has been an increase in infiltration from Pakistan in the last four months.

New Delhi’s concerns were conveyed by him during meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top security officials of the Obama administration.

Wrapping up his four-day U.S. visit, Mr. Chidambaram told reporters here that he was going back to India with a “lot of ideas.” One of these was establishing something on the lines of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre of the U.S.

Set up in 2004 under a Presidential executive order, the centre staffed with over 500 personnel drawn from 16 departments and agencies spearheads U.S. efforts to combat terrorism at home and abroad by analysing threat perceptions and sharing information with friendly countries.

Mr. Chidambaram met National Security Adviser James Jones, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Early.

He said he had briefed the U.S. officials about Pakistan not prosecuting perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks, including the mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, who was roaming free in that country despite evidence provided by India.

“I think, the U.S. understands the difference between the way India approached the post 26-11 situation and the way Pakistan approached it. It is enough to draw attention to the difference and leave it there,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

To a question if he had sought U.S. assistance to ensure that Pakistan took action against perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, the Home Minister said he had not asked specifically to “push for this and to push for that.”

“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. And Hafeez Sayeed [LeT founder] remains a free man. I think that is enough. They know to draw the lessons from that statement,” he said.

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