Terrorists have gripped mainland Pakistan: PM

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh told a distinguished gathering at the Centre of Foreign Relations (CFR) here on Monday that his country was very concerned about terrorists and insurgents, who were once very active along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, stretching their influence into mainland Pakistan.

"Terrorist groups who were once active in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that border Afghanistan, are now active and have acquired a grip in mainland Pakistan," said Dr. Singh during a question and answer session with noted diplomat and president of the CFR, Richard Haas.

"That is a cause for concern and steps should be taken to bring them under control. Failing to do so, will have phenomenal consequences for the security and stability of both India and Pakistan," he added.

He also said that Pakistan was not doing enough to curb terrorism or to bring the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on Mumbai last year to justice.

Asked by Haas whether he was justified in taking the steps that he and his government did to calm tempers and reactions in the wake of the incident, Dr. Singh said: "There was enormous pressure on me at that time and in hindsight, I must say that I resisted that pressure successfully. The decisions that were taken, on balance, suggest that they were the right decisions."

While refusing to speculate about how India would react or deal with such incidents in the future, the Prime Minister said: "I won't speculate about we (India) will or will not do in the future, but I must say that the world community has an obligation to exert pressure on Pakistan to control the terrorists and end terrorism on its soil."

Asked whether he subscribed to view that the Mumbai terror attack was planned in Pakistan, he said he and his government had no doubt on this score.

"The terrorists and attackers perpetrated the crime with the active support of the authorities in Pakistan.

Without mincing words, he said: " Pakistan has not acted as it should have acted against the terrorists. Nor has it used its machinery to bring to book the perpetrators responsible for killing 2000 people, innocent people, including some foreigners, in India."

He reiterated that Pakistan must be pressurised much more to bring to book all the perpetrators, people responsible for this horrible crime, adding that India has submitted "impeccable evidence" about the conspiracy being hatched in Pakistan and that it was connived by people still roaming freely in Pakistan. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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