NATIONAL

Clamp tough sanctions on Pak., says Sinha

NEW DELHI NOV. 24. Hitting out at the West for adopting double-standards in dealing with India's concerns on Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, asked it to pile on economic and ``all kinds of pressure'' on Islamabad to put a complete and permanent stop to infiltration.

``If the international community wants, Pakistan will give up its acts of terrorism against India in no time. There is obviously some disconnection between what they tell us and what they tell Pakistan,'' Mr. Sinha said, while doing some plain-speaking in an interview to Tim Sebastian on BBC World's `Hard Talk' programme to be aired tomorrow.

Mr. Sinha said he stood by his remarks in London that the international community has lost its moral right to advise India on the issue of terrorism vis-�-vis Pakistan, since it was making a ``distinction between the good terrorist, who operates in India and especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and the bad terrorist who operates elsewhere''. Asked why India was not talking to Pakistan, Mr. Sinha asked, ``Is the West talking to Osama bin Laden?"

``The terrorism that Pakistan is unleashing against India is as bad as the terrorism which the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda were unleashing in Afghanistan and elsewhere. And, if they are not to be talked to, they have to be dealt with in another manner,'' he said.

Mr. Sinha said: ``We expect the international community to have the same standards in dealing with the terrorists who are coming from across the boundary into India." "How do you expect the international community to remain indifferent when two regional powers, India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and a million troops at their borders with the serious conflict that goes on. And you are not keen to talk to the Pakistanis?" he was asked.

Mr. Sinha said: ``If one country has got nuclear weapons and threatens another country, the international community will tell the threatened country to start submitting, start surrendering? Is that what you are suggesting?"

On reports of a decline in the level of infiltration, Mr. Sinha said the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, had assured the international community of putting a permanent stop to infiltration.

``It's a question of stopping terrorism. If one of the two towers in New York hadn't come down, would you have said that we should be happy because only one has gone down?" — PTI