Pakistan 'epicentre' of global terror, says Antony
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Pakistan 'epicentre' of global terror, says Antony

Defence Minister AK Antony today once again termed Pakistan the "epicentre" of global terrorism and urged it to act with "sincerity and decisiveness" against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage.

delhi Updated: Feb 03, 2009 13:06 IST

India on Tuesday once again termed Pakistan the "epicentre" of global terrorism and urged it to act with "sincerity and decisiveness" against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage.

"Pakistan has become the epicentre of international terrorism," Defence Minister AK Antony declared while inaugurating the 11th Asian Security Conference at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi.

Noting that the positive gains of the past few years had been "destroyed" by the "dastardly" Mumbai attack, the minister said: "That major attacks of large magnitude can be planned and executed by elements in Pakistan totally undermines the solemn commitments to us made by its leadership that territory in its control would not be permitted to be used for terrorism."

Thus, Antony maintained, the onus was now on Pakistan "to act with sincerity and decisiveness against the perpetrators and controllers of such attacks".

"It is in the interest of this region and the rest of the world that such perpetrators of wanton violence are brought to justice and the infrastructure of terror is eliminated."

The world community too had a role to play since the "Frankenstein" of terrorism had become a threat to democracy, stability and peace in Afghanistan and to Pakistan itself, Antony maintained.

"The international community needs to act decisively and in concert to get rid of this scourge," Antony contended, adding, "We sincerely hope this approach would be the way ahead."

"As a victim of terrorism, we must remain committed to safeguarding the lives of our nationals and taking all the necessary steps to enhance and safeguard our security."

"The assault on Mumbai and many previous attacks on Indian cities over the past few years have gravely undermined peace and security," the minister maintained. "Afghanistan has been a victim of similar acts, as indeed have been other countries."

India has blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai mayhem that claimed the lives of more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners, and injured more than 300.

India Jan 5 submitted a detailed dossier to Pakistan pointing to the involvement of elements from its country in the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Sunday its Federal Investigation Agency had examined the dossier and had submitted a report that would soon be shared with India through diplomatic channels.

Addressing the Indian parliament in December 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Pakistan "the epicentre of terrorism" and said the international community must deal with the problem.

"We have to galvanise the international community to deal with the epicentre of terrorism, which is located in Pakistan," Singh said.

Antony also noted that in an era of rapid globalisation, where nation states have "high stakes" in ensuring peace, conflicts in the form of civil wars, insurgencies and militancy would be the principal modes of armed conflict rather than a full blown war between two nations.

"Although external wars are no longer in vogue, civil wars, insurgencies and militancy have become the principal modes of armed conflict today. Many flow from identity movements, others from extremist ideologies, and yet others from social, economic and political ideologies," the minister said.

Conflicts could also occur "if particular regimes facing internal economic and political problems unleash nationalism and war against an external 'enemy' to rally popular support," Antony contended.

First Published: Feb 03, 2009 12:05 IST