New Delhi, Jan.25 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today described Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's comment that his country could not guarantee against another 26/11 attack on India, as irresponsible.
He added that if there was another attack from Pakistani soil, not only India but the whole world would hold Pakistan responsible.
When asked during an interview with the Times Now television channel what was his reaction to Prime Minister Gilani's statement, Chidambaram said: "Gilani is the prime minister of that country. Ordinarily, I should not comment on a prime minister"s statement, but with great respect, that was a very irresponsible statement."
"Secondly, the prime minister of the country has all the information that has been furnished by us. More that what we have given to them following Kasab"s interrogation in court, now there is more information after Headley and Rane were arrested. I believe Americans shared that information with Pakistan. Given that information, how can the prime minister of Pakistan say that he can"t do anything or won"t do anything. In fact, the information that has come to us from the Americans in the last few days, which I believe is also available to Pakistan, should make Pakistan take firm action, crack down on the names that have been provided to him," Chidambaram added.
When probed further as to whether he (Chidambaram) was suggesting that some new information has been provided to Pakistan, the Home Minister said: "This is information that is provided by the US to India and I believe it is provided by the US to Pakistan."
Asked for his comments on credible and strong inputs of worrying signals of plans that are happening across the border, Chidambaram said: "We assess the credibility of the information and we take appropriate pre-emptive measures. We have strengthened air port security and also security on the air craft. It is not imminent and not as though some will happen. We are fully alive to the nature of the threat and have taken adequate pre-emptive measures."
Commenting on the recent attack in Srinagar, Chidambaram said: "It seems that in the New Year, they (the militants and their handlers) have stepped up the level of infiltration. We have seen at least half a dozen cases of infiltration and every one of them is repelled. It is possible that some of them sneaked through. There were incidents of fence cutting. Yesterday, we recovered large cache of arms and ammunition. So, the level of threat is pretty high and remains vulnerable but you must have noticed our response has been effective and swift."
On reports that the Lashkar had bought 80 para-gliders, Chidambaram said: "That is an exaggerated report. Leave that aside. We are vulnerable like any other country. The US is vulnerable. They almost had a plane blown up. The UK is vulnerable. They have identified the large number of cells in the country. We remain vulnerable but it is not some that something is going to happen today or tomorrow."
"Like any other country and like a country which is close to the epicentre of terrorism that is Afghanistan and Pakistan but I am confident that we will be able to neutralize any threat. And if we have the luck, We will be able to face any challenge," he added.
On US Defense secretary Robert Gates statement that India"s patience would be tested if there is another 26/11, the Home Minister said he was articulating India's angst.
He further said: "We are not happy with the way Pakistan is dealing with the information available to it. In fact, they are dragging their feet. But, we will continue to enhance capacity to beat any threat from Pakistan or elsewhere."
He also said that he never believed in there being a distinction between state and non-state actors as far as Pakistan is concerned.
"The information that we have recently makes it quite clear that this so-called distinction doesn"t exist. Therefore, if there is another attack emanating from Pakistan"s soil, I think the whole world will hold Pakistan responsible. I don"t think Pakistan will get away with this charade of state and non-state," Chidambaram said.
"Take the more recent attack - the Lal Chowk incident. There was a handler. Conversations have been recorded. Can Pakistan get away saying this is a non-state actor. Is it not Pakistan"s obligation to examine who the handler was and tell us who that handler was? Where did he operate from? This is an example you may have in your mind. This is a small incident but in my point of view as serious as important as any other attack on India," he concluded. (ANI)