President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the Pakistan government’s contention that it has nothing to do with terror attacks in India, saying non-state actors do not come from heaven, but from territory under Pakistan’s control.
In a TV interview recorded at Rashtrapati Bhavan before his six-day tour of Belgium and Turkey that began on Thursday, Mukherjee told euronews, a France-based news channel, that India will not compromise its territorial integrity.
In response to a question that Pakistan denies what India refers to as ‘state-sponsored terrorism’, Mukherjee replied that “non-state actors… the phrase they use… are not coming from heaven. They are coming from territory under your (Pakistan’s) control.”
The President made it clear that though India wants peace with Pakistan, it would not compromise its territorial integrity. “Terrorist activities must be curbed. And state-sponsored terrorism can never be accepted. Therefore, repeatedly we are saying, please dismantle the terrorist outfits that are located in your area,” he said.
Referring to his stint as foreign minister between 2006 and 2009, Mukherjee said that he used to say: “I can change my friends if I like but I cannot change my neighbours… I shall have to accept the neighbour whether I like him or not.”