Terror originating from Pak unacceptable: French Prez

Written by Political Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 9 2010, 04:51am hrs
Seeking greater global cooperation to fight terror, French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday asked Pakistan to be resolute in combating the menace, saying terror originating from there was unacceptable. "We know the price Pakistanis are paying for terrorism but it is not acceptable for the world that terrorist attacks originate from (there) or (terrorists) are trained in Pakistan," he told a 26/11 commemorative function at Oberoi-Trident Hotel here.

"It is not acceptable for Afghanistan and our troops in Afghanistan that Taliban and al Qaeda should find refuge in the frontier zones of Pakistan," Sarkozy said in his last day of the four-day India visit.

The French President praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for showing restraint after the 26/11 attacks. "We will never forget the Mumbai attacks and will be with India so that justice is rendered," Sarkozy said.

On India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat, the French President said responsibilities come with a permanent UNSC seat and India may also be required to send its troops on UN-backed missions to defend peace on foreign shores. He promised constant support to India in its bid to secure a permanent seat at the high table. "You will have to send troops beyond your borders to defend peace," he said.

Pushing his business agenda further, Sarkozy said there were many sectors like petroleum, agri-products and textiles where France can serve as a good market for Indian companies. During his address to corporate honchos in Mumbai, he said the French government would be happy to facilitate the trade flows and would also exchange its know-how in different sectors, including agriculture, which would help India achieve self-sufficiency in food.

I think Sarkozy was stressing on sectors like financial services, retail and defence sectors in which India has not yet opened-up, said CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee.

Pointing that the French companies are not there in India looking for clients, the president asked India to open up its multi-brand retail, insurance and other sectors of the economy. There is a pressing need for reciprocity in trade ties between India and France and the host nation needs to open-up various sectors of its economy, Sarkozy said.

The French President affirmed France's long-term strategic vision to enhance trade relations with India and said its companies are not here with bulging pockets looking to find equal partners.