Infiltration on rise, terror camps not dismantled: Antony

Infiltration on rise, terror camps not dismantled: Antony

11 February 2010
The Daily Excelsior


NEW DELHI: India today said its Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan will 'not be affected' despite increased infiltration by militants from across the border or the neighbouring nation failing to dismantle terror groups operating from its soil. Defence Minister A K Antony, however, said Pakistan had taken 'some action' against the terrorists responsible for the 26-11 Mumbai attacks as per India’s wishes and that was why India had taken a conscious decision to go ahead with the dialogue. 'It (infiltration and failure to dismantle terror groups) won’t affect our dialogue or the scheduled meeting at the foreign secretaries level,' Antony told reporters here on the sidelines of an Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) Conference on Asian Security. 'It is not sudden talks. We have been watching what action Pakistan has been taking (against terror groups responsible for Mumbai attacks). Even though we are not fully satisfied on the action taken by Pakistan, we feel they have taken some action as per our wish. So it is a positive development. So we decided to initiate talks,' he said. He was responding to queries if the composite dialogue would be affected due to infiltration and terror groups still operating from Pakistani soil, and if there was any pressure on India to hold the talks. 'India has taken a conscious decision after seeing some signs from Pakistan to take action (against terrorists). That’s why the talks were initiated by our side,' he added. Antony said infiltration by militants into Jammu and Kashmir had seen an increase this year compared to last year and there was 'a calculated' plan behind the spurt 'because in the last few years, especially last year, the law and order situation in the State has improved and violence levels come down.' Noting that it was 'a happy' situation for peace-loving people both within India and outside, he said there were forces bent upon creating 'chaos and trouble'. They were 'disturbed and perturbed that situation is going in different direction.' The Defence Minister said there was 'a conscious attempt from them' to create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, but refused to name the forces he was referring to. Maintaining that 42 terrorist outfits operating from across the border were still intact, he said, 'There is no attempt by government of Pakistan to dismantle these terror outfits. It is a matter of concern for us.' Earlier, addressing the IDSA conference, Antony said the terror infrastructure continued to thrive on Pakistani soil and that India continued to be firm with its demand that Pakistan must put an end to terror activities emanating from its soil. Pointing out that the Indo-Pak relations always had a huge bearing on regional peace and security, he said India’s willingness to resume negotiations with Pakistan must be seen against this backdrop. Antony said India was 'carefully monitoring' developments in Pakistan as its experience with militancy had taught it that the line of distinction between State-sponsored terrorism and the role of non-state actors was often blurred and rather indistinguishable. 'Transnational terrorism has, of late, emerged as a real threat. Our neighbourhood, particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to terrorist organisations like LeT and Al-Qeada, which pose a threat to the entire world. 'The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan too are victims of these organisations. Unless the real support base of these organisations is tracked down and dismantled, their activities will continue to pose a serious threat,' he added. Pointing out that cooperation must also include nation-states giving up support to terror outfits, the Defence Minister said no country should provide support, explicit or otherwise, to terror outfits and this was an important pre-requisite for peace and development in the region. (PTI)


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