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ZERO TOLERANCE

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 13:26 IST

PM will urge G-8 to brand Pak on terror
INDIA WILL make a strong pitch at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg for a “coordinated, strong statement” on the issue of terrorism. More specifically, sources said, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would make a strong presentation at the summit, incorporating elements from the Mumbai blasts investigation to seek a G-8 resolution naming Pakistan, asking it to act against terrorist elements in its territory.

For long, India has been speaking of Pakistani involvement in major acts of terrorism, not only in India, but also in London, the US and elsewhere. A senior official said the idea of such a resolution/statement would be to “face and tackle the problem head on”.

Though it is unlikely that there will be specific mention of Pakistan in a strong statement from the G-8 and five ‘outreach’ nations (China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico), India hopes such a strong pitch by the PM will at least ensure more coordinated action against terrorists. Better cooperation in policing and intelligence and in tracing and stopping the flow of funds to terrorist groups.

“We would like an unambiguous assertion that such acts are unacceptable, that there is zero-tolerance for terrorism,” Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said on Saturday at a briefing to announce the PM’s visit to St Petersburg. The PM will leave for Russia on Sunday to participate in the G-8 ‘outreach’ summit. A key topic on the agenda is terrorism.

“It is not just an India-Pakistan problem,” Saran said, but an issue that confronts the entire world, as terrorist groups have strong linkages. He said it was ironic that “terrorist groups have better coordination than countries facing them”. Leaders from the G-8 countries — the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, Italy, France, Russia and Canada —have strongly condemned the Mumbai blasts that left over 200 people dead and 890 injured.

The PM will be looking to leverage mounting international outrage to compel Pakistan to honour its commitment to end terrorism and violence directed against India and “completely dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism” in that country.

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