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Will Walk Extra Mile If Pak Acts Against 26/11 Attackers:India

India is prepared to walk the "extra mile" to normalise relations with Pakistan if it takes action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and dismantles terrorism infrastructure, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi

PTI [ Updated: October 16, 2009 12:10 IST ]
will walk extra mile if pak acts against 26/11 attackers
will walk extra mile if pak acts against 26/11 attackers india

India is prepared to walk the "extra mile" to normalise relations with Pakistan if it takes action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and dismantles terrorism infrastructure, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has said. 

Tharoor, who is on a visit here, said India was not interested in an environment of conflict and hostility with its neighbour and asked Pakistan to step up efforts to combat terrorism in a "holistic way". 

"The action that is expected from Pakistan has to take place before we can engage once again in the kind of comprehensive dialogue process that we want," he told PTI in New York.

"We are prepared to walk the extra mile but the first step should come from them because what happened in Mumbai came from their side," the former UN diplomat said. 

He also recalled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in July that India would meet Pakistan more than half way if it took decisive action against terrorism. 

Tharoor also said India is "certainly disappointed" on the lack of progress in any action against JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and in the Mumbai attack case in Pakistan. 

Based on the testimony given by Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 attacks, Tharoor said India believes that Saaed had masterminded the strikes, "given exaltation and operational guidance to the killers". 

"We believe this is a man (Saeed) who should not be running loose in Pakistan free to preach his sermons of hatred and incite violence and murder in our country," Tharoor said. 

"We want the infrastructure of terrorism from which assaults have been launched in India to be dismantled," he said. 

The Minister said Pakistan should also shut down training camps, crack down on terrorist organisations and stop them from being reinvented under different names, arresting their leaders and closing down their bank accounts. 

He noted that Pakistan has so far arrested only seven suspects, including LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, in connection with the Mumbai attacks. "I believe they're still looking for others but we will not be satisfied with just these seven." 

While a crack down on the terrorists behind 26/11 attacks remains paramount, Tharoor said, India hopes that Pakistan would root out the scourge of terrorism in a more "holistic manner".

"We were engaged in a peace process when 26/11 happened. India is not the country that has been found wanting when it comes to making overtures of peace. Governments in India envisioned prosperity for the sub-continent. 

"As we would like these things for our own people, we would like them for the people of Pakistan," he added. PTI

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