Pakistan’s civilian government is unable to keep its promises on bringing the 26/11 terrorists to justice, as it is weak and unwilling to risk any confrontation with the army or ISI that are in control of security matters, Union home minister P Chidambaram said on the third anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack.
The attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists trained in Pakistan.
The minister said that while he supported fruitful engagement with Pakistan on trade, visas and so on, "on matters concerning terror and those relating to India’s internal security", he could not see any forward movement.
He pointed out that Pakistan has not acted against key 26/11 conspirators despite India providing information several times. Responding to news reports that LeT military commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi is using a phone while in Pakistani custody, Chidambaram said he was “not surprised that they are treating him with a lot of affection and generosity”.
He said that the idea of India and Pakistan jointly fighting terrorism did not have his support. “How can we share intelligence with a country that we know has state actors, non-state actors and rogue elements acting against India. I think any joint effort with Pakistan on the terror front is very far away until we have a government in that country that is in control and is willing to fight terrorism,” Chidambaram told HT.
India and Pakistan had launched a joint anti-terrorism mechanism that met thrice between 2007 and 2008 with little success.
In the ill-fated Sharm El Sheikh joint statement, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had on July 16, 2009 agreed to “share real time credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats”.
Talking about improving Indian capacity to tackle terror, the minister said “tardy decision-making and misplaced apprehensions” are holding up several initiatives. Chidamaram said apprehensions about surveillance is legitimate and can be addressed, but that should not lead to holding anti-terrorism measures. The home minister said setting up of a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is “an idea that is long overdue”. The move has been delayed due to lack of consensus among members of the cabinet committee on security.