India says ISI still mentoring terror outfits

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) India today said there were strong pockets of anti-India sentiment in Pakistan and blamed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of continuing to ''mentor'' terror outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

''We see no change in the attitude of the ISI to mentor terror activities of groups such as the Lashkar and the Jaish. The attacks on India from the soil of Pakistan are likely to continue,'' National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan said here.

In a scathing attack on Pakistan, he said Islamabad was frenetically buying arms and acquiring missiles and weapon systems to confront and seek parity with India.

''Pakistan's military strategy remains India-centric. But, let me assure you that we are ready to give a strong reply to any (mis)adventurism by Pakistan,'' Mr Narayanan added.

He said there were strong pockets of anti-Indian sentiment in Pakistan, specifically in the ISI. ''The activities of the fundamentalists and the ISI cannot be discounted.'' The NSA said one of the greatest dangers India faced was the terror camps being run on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border by the Al Qaeda and the remnants of the Taliban.

''India has every reason to be concerned and worried over the existence of these training camps,'' he added.

The NSA also said that Pakistan was meddling in the affairs of Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

However, he expressed the hope that the installation of a civilian government in Pakistan would lead to stable conditions and weaken the forces of fundamentalism in that country.

''We want to see a stable Pakistan and welcome the democratic process by which a new dispensation has come to power there.

''At the same time, we are fully committed to continuing the CBMs with Pakistan and would like to further improve our relations in other spheres.'' Mr Narayanan sought a broad consensus on how to deal with these problems which have put India on a back-foot from time to time since independence.

''The challenge faced by India with Pakistan is how do we enlarge our area of contact without compromising on our national security parameters?'' he asked.

The NSA was delivering the 25th Late Air Chief Marshal P C Lal memorial lecture on ''Managing India's National Security and Building a Consensus for the 21st Century''.


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