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Hostile propaganda, alleges Pakistan

Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s elected representatives on Wednesday rallied against India for what they dubbed as its “hostile propaganda,” and sought to turn the tables with the accusation that “terror networks” operating in Indian territory were attempting to destabilise the region.

The National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Mumbai attacks. But it asked the international community “to ensure that India also dismantles its terror networks affecting peace in the region and stop[s] regional destabilisation moves.”

The resolution, after a five-day debate on the security situation, urged India to “stop hostile propaganda against Pakistan that seeks to cover their intelligence failures” and to end “activities [that] do not serve the cause of peace in the region.”

The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Ammad Ahmed. It reflected the hardening position of the Pakistan People’s Party government, and the shrinking political space for action on the Indian demand that it (Pakistan) must take steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure, not for New Delhi but in its own interests. The resolution condemned India’s “unsubstantiated allegations levelled in haste against Pakistan.”

It called upon India to respond to “the constructive proposals” by Pakistan for a joint investigation into the Mumbai attacks.

The resolution said Pakistan was “united and stands ready to defend its honour and dignity as well as sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity” and said the nation and the armed forces “shall together defend” the country’s security “at all costs.”

Earlier this week, Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said his forces would give an “equal response” should India carry out any strikes inside Pakistan. Briefing President Asif Ali Zardari, Gen. Kayani said the armed forces were prepared to meet “any eventuality” and his men were “ready to sacrifice for the country.”

Indian arrested

Meanwhile, Pakistani intelligence agencies claimed to have arrested an Indian national in connection with a car bomb blast in Lahore on Wednesday morning that killed a woman and left three others injured, Pakistani television channels are saying. Dawn News said the suspect had been identified as Satish Anand Shukla from Kolkata.

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