Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday downplayed the talk of war with Pakistan, but insisted that the neighbouring country should dismantle "terror machine". The Mumbai terror strikes were an attack on India's ambition to emerge as in economic power, he said.
Responding to a question if the country was heading for a war with Pakistan following the standoff over the November 26 attacks, the PM said India wanted Pakistan to dismantle the terror machine. "That is our demand. It's in the interest of India and Pakistan that this be dismantled. We would like an objective effort to dismantle the terror machine,'' he said.
"The government of Pakistan knows what this means. There are a number of United Nations resolutions. We would like Pakistan to comply with them and the international community to use its powers of persuasion to (make it) comply with these resolutions,'' he said. But he did not mention Pakistan by name while addressing a conclave of over 120 Indian envoys expected to present New Delhi's point of view to the world. He described the situation as "worrisome'', charged that non-state actors practising terrorism in the neighbourhood were aided and abetted by state establishments and held that the terror strikes in Mumbai were an attack on India's ambitions to emerge as an economic power.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also spoke in a similar vein while asking Pakistan not to generate war hysteria. "The issue is not about the defence of Pakistan but of terrorist activities emanating from Pakistani soil against India ,'' he said, emphasising that India had requested Islamabad to take action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack. "We request Pakistan to act on our request,'' he said.
Amid heightened tension between the two sides, army chief General Deepak Kapoor took stock of the operational readiness on the Siachen glacier on Tuesday. He undertook an aerial survey of the glacier and was briefed by local commanders.
"The army is always operationally ready to carry out any task assigned to us. With the cold start doctrine in place, we can mobilise troops at a swift pace to launch offensive operations. We can do it at a short-notice," a senior army officer said in Delhi.