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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Singh-Putin tell Pakistan to 'irreversibly' shut down terror networks

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times  Moscow, October 21, 2013
First Published: 22:45 IST(21/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:21 IST(22/10/2013)

In strong words targeting Pakistan's continuing support to terror elements, Russia joined India to call upon countries to "irreversibly" shut down terrorist networks and show tangible movement to quickly bring the terrorists to justice.

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The two countries also recognized terrorism as the major threat to Afghanistan's security ahead of the "drawdown of international forces in 2014 and pitched for joint efforts between the states of the region to eliminate terrorist safe havens and cutting off financial support to terrorism.

The joint statement issued at the end of a four-hour long 14th annual India Russia Summit referred to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008 and the Beslan school siege in north Ossetia - Russia's deadliest terror attack more than 9 years ago -- that killed 334 including 186 children.

The statement - that echoes India's position on terror emanating from across the border -- comes in the backdrop of a spike in the number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan, ostensibly to facilitate infiltrators to cross the fenced border. There have been over 200 violations in 2013, most of them after August.

The joint statement did not mention Pakistan. But the harsh language incorporated at India's request did not leave anyone in doubt. Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh - who called the references to terrorism in the state "some heavy paras" - said Pakistan was mentioned during the discussion on terrorism in the region.

Pakistan has put nearly seven people including Lashkar-e-Taiba on trial for the 26/11 attacks in 2009 but the case has been moving at a snail's pace, often getting stalled on one count or another.

The case - that has already seen five judges - was recently shifted from Rawalpindi to Islamabad. Indian security agencies have long believed that the probe and the trial was a half-hearted investigation aimed at silencing critics rather than punishing the terrorists.

The statement spoke about the international linkages of terrorism beyond a country's borders. Reaffirming the obligation of all states to vanquish terrorism from areas under their control, the statement called for irreversibly shutting down terrorist networks, organizations and show tangible movement in quickly bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Government officials said the two sides discussed the expectations about the turn of events in Afghanistan when the international forces start reducing their force level and the role of the Taliban.

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