Pakistan to take concrete & visible steps: PM

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 13 2008, 04:20am hrs
India spoke its toughest language on Thursday warning Pakistan that business will not be as usual if Islamabad failed to act against elements in its soil who were spreading terror here.

Indias collective intent, endorsed by both houses of parliament, was conveyed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee as well as home minister P Chidambaram, who made it clear that Pakistan had to dismantle terror infrastructure. Prime Minister Singh also tendered an apology for failing to prevent the Mumbai attacks. In upping the ante, Mukherjee however, maintained that war was not an option.

Asserting that Islamabad had to take visible and concrete steps, the Prime Minister said India has exercised restraint so far but it could not be satisfied with mere assurances on ending terror emanating from Pakistan. He said India will have to galvanise international community to deal with epicentre of terrorism located in Pakistan.

Signalling unity in the political class on the issue, opposition leader LK Advani said his party and the NDA endorsed any hard decisions by the government to end the menace of terrorism. At the end of the discussion, the house unanimously adopted a resolution condemning terrorism emanating out of Pakistan and resolving to fight it unitedly.

I expect them to act. Otherwise it will not be business as usual. There would be situation which we do not want, Mukherjee said while intervening in the debate on terrorism in the Rajya Sabha even as he held elements in Pakistan responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks.

Ridiculing Pakistani statements that non-state actors could be behind the terror attacks in India, Mukherjee asked are these non state actors from heaven. Are they coming from another planet. They are located in the territory of a particular country. He said Islamabad must take serious action to completely dismantle terror infrastructure and end infiltration.

In his speech, Advani declared that his party was with the government in the war on terror. He however asked the government to be wary of Islamabads current action against terror outfits, contending it was a drama and a show.

External affairs minister Mukherjee also made a reference to this when he raised questions over Pakistan's sincerity in curbing the activities of terror groups operating from its soil when he pointed out that house arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed was not enough. He also added that India has repeatedly given Pakistan a list of 40 terrorists, including Dawood Ibrahim, with a demand that they be handed over.