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Punish perpetrators: Pranab

Sandeep Dikshit

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday insisted that Pakistan must stay firm on its commitment to prosecute all those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks in November last year. Asked what India was contemplating now that the charge sheet was filed, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “The next course of action is very simple. Perpetrators of the attack should be punished and we expect Pakistan will fulfil its bilateral and international obligations.”

Mr. Mukherjee said assurances had twice been given from the highest levels in Pakistan to fight terrorism and not allow its territory to be used by those plotting attacks on other countries. The commitment was made first by then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 6, 2004. This was reiterated by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 24, 2008. Both had said that Pakistan territory would not be allowed to be used by terrorists.

On the charge sheet, Mr. Mukherjee refused to comment because the “due process” of law had been initiated. On the likely Indian response to the 30 clarifications sought by Pakistan on the dossier pertaining to the attacks submitted by India to “help them investigate further,” Mr. Mukherjee pointed out that when India had received the questions, “we had committed that the Government of India will respond and give clarifications wherever possible.”

On the turmoil in Bangladesh, Mr. Mukherjee said the borders with India were “safe and secure” and it was the policy of the Indian government not to comment on the internal affairs of a friendly sovereign country.

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