Manmohan asks Pakistan to 'control monster of terror'
In his first reaction after Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley's stunning disclosures about the ISI's role in 26/11 Mumbai terror, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned Pakistan to control jihadi groups that target India and underlined that it was in Islamabad's interest to control the "monster of terrorism" it has unleashed.india Updated: May 28, 2011 22:10 IST
In his first reaction after Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley's stunning disclosures about the ISI's role in 26/11 Mumbai terror, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday warned Pakistan to control jihadi groups that target India and underlined that it was in Islamabad's interest to control the "monster of terrorism" it has unleashed.
In the same breath, Manmohan Singh, however, said that the dialogue process that has been resumed will continue, adding that India should "use every possible opportunity to talk to Pakistan and convince them that terror as an instrument of state policy is not simply acceptable to the civilised world".
While returning from a six-day visit to Ethiopia and Tanzania, Manmohan Singh used the strongest language he has ever for Pakistan's failure to shut down the terror machinery directed against India in which some elements of Pakistani state are suspected to be involved.
"The more I see of what is happening in Pakistan the more I am convinced that Pakistan's leadership must now wake up, and must recognise that the terror machine they have or at least some elements in the country patronise, is not working to anybody's advantage," he said.
"As Pakistan's neighbour, we have great worries about the terror machine that is still intact in Pakistan. We would like Pakistan to take much more effective action to curb the activities of those jihadi groups which particularly target a country like India."
Reacting to Headley's disclosures in a Chicago court that has nailed the Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence's (ISI) role in 26/11 attack, Manmohan Singh said: "This trial of David Headley has not brought out anything new that we did not know."
"The trial is still on, we will study it when the trial is completed. But as I said, it has not revealed anything which we did not know," he said, telling Pakistan upfront that some elements in that country patronise terror as an instrument of state policy.
He also aired India's concerns over the terror attack at a naval base in Karachi that has stirred anxieties about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
"Let me say that what happens in our neighbourhood matters a great deal. I have always maintained that a strong, stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of our country, and therefore these events do worry us."
"And I hope that Pakistan will also recognise that this monster of terrorism which they unleashed at one time, is hurting them as much as it can hurt our country. And it is in this background that we have to look at our relations with Pakistan," he said.
Asking Pakistan to control jihadi groups that target India, the prime minister underlined that it was "in Pakistan's own interest that they must help us in tackling the problem of terror in our region".
"That those jihadi groups that target India, as a destination for their terror, they must be effectively curbed and dealt with. That is an ongoing process and at every opportunity that we have, we should continue to impress on Pakistan," he said.
Manmohan Singh, who has made improving relations with Pakistan the top priority of his government, stressed that the world shared India's anxieties about terror emanating from that country. "The second thing is the global concern about terrorism. The world has seen, as never before, that the epicentre of terror is in our neighbourhood."
"They appreciate India's point and it should be our effort to mobilise world opinion to ensure that this terror machinery which operates in our neighbourhood in Pakistan is brought under effective control."
He, however, added that despite knowing the terror machinery working against India in Pakistan, he believed that "good relations between India and all its neighbours are very desirable and indeed essential for us in South Asia to realise our development ambitions".