India, Pak should fight terrorism: Haqqani

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Washington, Dec 1: Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has said that those who staged the Mumbai attacks were 'non-state actors' and this is no time for India and Pakistan to blame each other but to work together to fight terroism. Haqqani told ABC in an interview on Sunday, Nov 30 if India moves its forces to the border with Pakistan, it will leave his country no option but to take steps to defend itself. Troops will have to be pulled back from the border with Afghanistan 'and nobody wants that,' the Daily Times reported.

He said the democratic government in Pakistan led by President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani had 'gone the extra mile' in reassuring the Indians that both countries being victims of terrorism, this was the time to forget past history and get together.

In answer to a question about the initial Pakistani offer of dispatching the ISI chief to India, the ambassador said that the 'rhetoric' right now is such that it would not be the right time for a high-level meeting of that sort, but Pakistan has offered high-level intelligence cooperation to India.

"We will cooperate with the Indians in every detail if there is evidence that there is any link to anybody," he added.

Haqqani said his government has gone the extra mile to reassure the Indian government that "we feel their pain."

Haqqani said the Mumbai attacks must not be viewed through the prism of past bitter Islamabad-New Delhi relations. "As two democracies we need to strengthen each other rather than fall into the trap of the terrorists who want us to fight with each other so that they can get greater strength," he added.

Asked whether a member of President-elect Barack Obama's team would be welcome to broker a compromise on Jammu and Kashmir, Haqqani said Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama's likely pick for Secretary of State, or anyone else would be welcome.

"I think it's about time that people put those arguments behind us and if anyone can help us do that that would definitely be a good thing," he added.


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