‘Pak attitude has not changed’Several attempts to repeat 26-11 foiled: PC

27 November 2009
The Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: India hopes that international opinion and its pressure combined with refusal to engage in a dialogue will force Pakistan to change its attitude towards terror groups operating from there. Home Minister P Chidambaram said there have been several attempts by terrorists from across the border as well as modules within the country to launch terror attacks like 26-11 in India and these have been successfully foiled by the security agencies with better intelligence inputs. “I can’t change Pakistan’s attitude. I can only hope that international opinion, Indian pressure and India’s refusal to engage Pakistan in a dialogue, will force Pakistan to change its attitude,” he said in a programme. “We have said that always,” he said on Pakistan not abandoning its policy on supporting terror groups post 26-11. However, the Minister said, looking at Islamabad’s attitude, India has strengthened its security manifold and is now better prepared in comparison to what it was an year ago. “All I can say is given Pakistan’s attitude, am I better prepared? Have I built more capacity and more competence? I think I have,” he said. He dismissed as “misplaced criticism” the allegations that Rs 31 crore have been spent on protection of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai attacks terrorist. He was a very important catch, he said. “He (Kasab) is a lead that finally made Pakistan admit that the terrorists were Pakistanis; masterminds were Pakistanis and forced Pakistanis to start a trial. What course the trial will take, I can’t say,” Chidambaram said. He said if Kasab had also been killed like the other terrorists, Pakistan would have been in a state of total denial and there won’t have been trial at all. Asked whether trial of Kasab was taking too much time, Chidambaram said a murder trial normally takes time and in Kasab’s case the trail has indeed been fast tracked as all the prosecution witnesses are being examined. “I am proud of the fact that we are a country wedded to the rule of law. That we do not try Kasab in a Kangaroo court and hang him overnight, like they do it in some other countries. “Kasab’s trial shows India in great light, that this is a country, regardless of the great pain it suffered, is willing to put the sole terrorist who has been apprehended, on a fair and open trial,” he said. Asked whether Kasab should get capital punishment, he said, “Kasab must first be pronounced guilty. It’s not what you think he is or what I think he is. Each one has got a view but Kasab must first be pronounced guilty by competent court. “Kasab must be allowed all judicial options available to him. After that, when the sentence is finally pronounced we will take a call on your question.” (PTI)