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Pak must act against perpetrators: PM

In his address at award function in Mumbai, the Prime Minister said Pakistan should take all the consequent next steps against all those who have planned, organised and executed these horrific crimes.

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2009 10:26 IST

In its first formal response to India with regard to the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan had on Friday said it had initiated a "series" of actions in connection with the probe into the terror strikes and claimed to have shut down five training camps of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa and arrested several LeT leaders. In his address at the Economic Times awards function in Mumbai, the Prime Minister said the barbaric attack was not without deeper intent and was meant to be an attack on "our very concept of nationhood". The function, slated to be held in November, was deferred after the Mumbai attacks.

"Mumbai is the best-known symbol of free, pluralistic, dynamic and cosmopolitan India. That is precisely why the terrorists chose to attack it," he said.

But the terrorists should know that the civilized world is against them and that no country can or will tolerate their onslaught, the Prime Minister said. India has shared the evidence that it has gathered so far on the incidents with Pakistan and others. "Pakistan has admitted that the arrested terrorist (Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Mumbai attack) is their national".

"We expect Pakistan to take all the consequent next steps against all those who have planned, organised and executed these horrific crimes," he said.

Noting that "the Pakistan government has announced that the results of their investigations will be made public in a few days," he said, "I urge the Pakistani authorities to come out with a full and complete disclosure of all the facts surrounding the case, without attempts at denial, diversion or obfuscation".

Asking Pakistan to discharge its obligations under international instruments and honour the bilateral commitments it has given to India at the highest level, he said it should ensure that nothing like Mumbai, or the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul ever happens again.

Seeking the assistance of the international community, the Prime Minister said it should use its full weight to see that the investigations are pursued vigorously and brought to a speedy and logical conclusion and that terror groups operating from Pakistan are "completely shut down". "If Pakistan is sincere in its words, it should show through its actions that it will not tolerate these assaults on civilized norms of behaviour," he said.

Singh admitted that at the end of the day, this is a problem that "we will have to tackle ourselves with our own sources and our own determination. We need to strengthen our own ability to deal with such attacks and our intelligence capability to anticipate them".

Describing the Mumbai attacks as "painful" and horrific", he said although the barbaric attack was behind everyone, the scars it has left remain.

The Prime Minister recalled that he was a resident of Mumbai for "three happy years and I feel keenly the pain and anger of the city. To the people of Mumbai, I can only say that we will no effort to ensure that their city does not suffer any such attack in the future".

Singh said he particularly wished to salute the breavery and sacrifice of the men of the Mumbai police and the NSG who laid down their lives fighting the terrorists.