NATIONAL

'Action needed to eliminate terrorism'

NEW DELHI AUG. 26. India today stopped short of directly blaming Pakistan for Monday's twin blasts in Mumbai, but said the scale and frequency of terrorist attacks made the task of sincere and well-meaning initiatives more difficult.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesman told presspersons this evening that action to eliminate terrorism could not but have a positive bearing on the normalisation process between India and Pakistan.

That was why India was saying that the dossier on terrorism could not be overlooked.

New Delhi, he said, continued to monitor the situation as India and Pakistan consolidate the steps already taken, complete those under discussion and give consideration to new ones. The latest brutal act of terrorism showed that much more needed to be done to eliminate terrorism from the region. The international community, he believed, needed to take collective action against the problem.

For the second day, messages of support and solidarity continued to come in from world leaders on the terrorist attack. The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, said he was "shocked" to hear about the blasts.

In a message to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mr. Wen said: "I wish to, on behalf of the Chinese Government and the Chinese people, and in my own name, extend profound condolences to you ... as well as ... to the injured and the bereaved."

In his message to Mr. Vajpayee, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, said that in this "tragic hour" his Government stood by India. "Permit me to express to you and to the citizens of your country my deep-felt condolences."

Separately, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoriko Kawaguchi, said she had been "deeply shocked" by the brutal terrorist attacks. "The Government of Japan strongly denounces these terrorist attacks, and reaffirms its resolute condemnation against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," she said in a message to the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha.

The French Foreign Ministry, too, has resolutely condemned the attacks. "This attack emphasises once again the need for a constant and determined fight against terrorism. No reason, nothing can justify the attacks."

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