India's Waiting For Pak Stand17 January 2010
The Economic Times
New Delhi: The government on Sunday said it was waiting for Islamabad to “do more” to stop terrorism directed against India. Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, who pointed out that recent attacks in Kashmir showed that terror infrastructure in Pakistan had not been dismantled, said it was time that Islamabad walked the anti-terror talk. “Terrorism directed against India continues from territory under Pakistan control and from Pakistan. Look at what has been happening in Srinagar over the last few weeks. Look at incidents of infiltration that have gone up despite the fact that this is cold weather. In winter traditionally we have not had so many incidents of infiltration, but those continue. They clearly point to continuation of efforts directed against our territory, directed in order to foment violence in Kashmir and terrorist incidents,” she said in an interview to a television channel. “Let me say Pakistan can do more...We wait and we hope Pakistan can do more,” she said. Expressing concern over the recent militant attacks in Kashmir, the rocket attacks at Attari and Poonch and the frequent firing across the international border, Ms Rao said terrorism and the whole phenomenon of cross-border terrorism has not diminished in any manner. “All the events you have seen over the last few days basically point to the basic and undeniable fact that the infrastructure of terrorism which operates out of Pakistan and territory under Pakistan control has not been dismantled and it continues to be directed against the Indian people. It affects ordinary people. Terrorism affects people like you and me,” she said. On the terrorists who attacked at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, she said whichever group they belonged to, they were essentially part of the “same species”. Asserting they were operating out of Pakistan, she said “these are terrorism-spewing, violence-generating people who have an agenda, an agenda of violence and mayhem, to pursue.” Further, she said the experience over the last two decades made it clear this has been an instrument of state policy and has been pursued by agencies within Pakistan. Stating militancy and violence in Kashmir had become a long-standing phenomenon, she said “we have seen it happen over and over again for many many years now. And this has been accompanied by rhetoric, rhetoric directed against India, all forms and means of propaganda that come across from the Pakistan side. So, rhetoric, militancy and violence, together make a very combustible combination.” To a question if Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s rhetoric was facilitating or encouraging terrorism, she replied, “let me say rhetoric hardly helps the situation. It poisons peoples’ minds...Rhetoric is always unhelpful in situations such as these.” She said India had never turned its back on dialogue but terrorism was a stand alone phenomenon that affected the climate of dialogue. “And when Pakistan refers to the need to resume Composite Dialogue, we say you have to create the right atmosphere for that dialogue to move forward...Terrorism is not a tap you turn on and off because of the absence of or prevalence of dialogue. Dialogue does not flow from the barrel of the gun.” she said. To a question how much credit she gave to Islamabad for the fact that there had been no major terrorist attack on India since 26-11, she said it was too early say. “India’s attitude is for dialogue and to promote peaceful resolution of problems with Pakistan. But, all of us who have grown up against the background of what has happened in this relationship, I think there is a sense of déjà vu that I get. And I feel a sense of sadness that people, ordinary people in Pakistan, are being misled by propaganda of this sort,” she said. On US role, she said President Barack Obama and the US Administration had assured India that they had no desire to play a mediatory role on issues concerning India and Pakistan. “America is well aware of India’s approach to these issues, our concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistan, our desire to see a secure and stable Afghanistan; and that will involve tackling sources of terrorism in our region. And America understands that Pakistan continues to provide safe haven to a number of terrorists operating in our region,” she said. Refuting any contradiction in statements made by Mr Obama, she said “the relationship between India and the US is a strategic, global partnership. There is confidence, there is trust in this communication that India and the US have. And the US is aware of our position on this.” When asked if there was danger that India and Pakistan could be “re-hyphenated”, she said this was out of the question. “Our relationship with the US is a mature relationship. It is one of defining partnerships of the times as President Obama said so eloquently during our Prime Minister’s visit,” she said. Asked if there was concern about Taliban and al-Qaeda getting tempted to deflect attention by carrying out attacks on India as US pressure mounted, Ms Rao said eternal vigilance was needed and the country must be constantly alert to such possibilities.