EU cracks the whip on Pak

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 20 2008, 07:51am hrs
The European Union on Friday stepped up pressure on Pakistan in wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, and asked Islamabad to fulfill its counter-terrorism obligations.

Offering full support to India in the fight against terror, French ambassador Jerome Bonn font, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, told media here that, The EU is directly asking Pakistan to fulfill its obligations in the field of counter-terrorism. Pakistan has the obligation to tack terrorism.

According to the French envoy, the 27-nation powerful bloc will assess the situation constantly as Pakistan has to answer the questions which were raised after the

Mumbai attacks.

We ask very strongly Pakistan to help find and prosecute those responsible for the horrible attacks (in Mumbai) and take necessary steps to ensure such things do not happen in future, Bonnafont said.

If the EU will consider imposing sanction or initiate strict action against Pakistan if it failed to act tough against terrorists, the French ambassador, though not responding directly, said the grouping was holding day-to-day consultations with New Delhi.

Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmonicek, in response to a question on what action the 27 Union will take when his country takes over the presidency next year, said, It is absolutely clear what must be delivered... It is in the interests of Pakistan to do so.

The Czech Republic is due to take over the EU presidency in 2009.

The French ambassador said that the EUs envoy on counter-terrorism will be visiting India early next year to strengthen cooperation in this area and to share notes with his Indian counterparts about the alleged complicity of Pakistan-based elements in the November 26 Mumbai terror strikes.

The French envoy also stressed that the EU and member countries played a significant role in exerting international pressure that led the UN Security Council to declare Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a public front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Pakistan-based militant outfit, a terrorist organisation.

India suspects the LeT to be behind the Mumbai carnage that killed over 170 people, including 26 foreigners. The Czech Republic is due to take over the six-month rotating EU presidency in January 2009.