Voicing scepticism over Pakistan acting decisively against terrorists operating from its soil, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said such elements have been “let off” in the past after some initial action.
“Therefore, we shall have to see whether these (actions by Pakistan) are taken to their logical conclusion,” he said, asking Islamabad to ensure the terror infrastructure is dismantled completely.
Reacting to Islamabad’s demand for evidence of the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai attacks, Mukherjee said India was ready to do so but not at this juncture when investigations were yet to be concluded. “We can make available whatever evidence we have. In this case, we are also investigating, we have not come to any conclusion. Therefore, at this juncture, perhaps, it would be premature to share the evidences,” Mukherjee told the Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
He refused to comment on the current crackdown on terror groups in Pakistan. “Almost similar actions were taken at the initial stage when the international pressure was mounted. After that it was let off,” he said, adding that he was “waiting to see” that these steps are pursued seriously.
“I am waiting to see ... The infrastructure facilities available to terrorists are totally dismantled and the outlawed and banned organisations do not reappear in their new name with the new signboards but with the same old faces."
His remarks follow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in Parliament on Thursday that the international community has to be galvanised into “dealing sternly and effectively with the epicentre of terrorism, which is located in Pakistan.”
Mukherjee said the “non-state actors” Pakistan has been referring to as behind the terror attacks “live and function” within the territory of that country. "That is why, repeatedly, I said elements from Pakistan. That is a phrase I have used meticulously. I would not like to be more specific unless definitive conclusion is arrived at by the investigating agencies,” he said.