Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has widened the range of India’s diplomatic moves to pressure Pakistan into acting against those behind the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26.
On Saturday, Singh spoke over the phone to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and asked him to impress upon Pakistan that it needed to move beyond denial to action on curbing terrorism, according to sources in the government who spoke on the customary condition of anonymity.
In an unrelated public speech in the evening, the prime minister said India knew how to rise to a challenge and emerge stronger. He predicted disappointment for “those who wish to see us diminished”.
“Those who wish to weaken our unity and hurt our nation should remember that India has always endured and emerged stronger. The force of history is on our side,” Singh said in his Bhimsen Sachar Memorial Lecture.
The prime minister’s speech steered clear of Pakistan and terrorism. Instead, Singh — who spoke around the same time that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was talking about the “cancer of terrorism” in Islamabad — focused on the disease that threatens to pull down India.
“I want every Indian to fight the cancer of communalism, casteism and linguistic chauvinism that eat the very vitals of our democracy and our republic,” Singh said. “These internal divides weaken us. These also strengthen our enemies … Those who seek to harm us, do so by exploiting our internal weaknesses.”