‘Another 26/11-style attack cannot be ruled out’

Possibility of yet another Mumbai-style attack in India cannot be ruled out, a veteran Indian diplomat said.

London: Possibility of yet another Mumbai-style attack in India cannot be ruled out and such a threat will arise if the Taliban or Haqqani network succeed in seizing large parts of southern Afghanistan, a veteran Indian diplomat said.

"Given improvement and modernisation in internal security organisations in several States and improved coordination on intelligence issues, the threat posed by...The Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed can be effectively contained, though the possibility of yet another Mumbai-style attack cannot be ruled out," former diplomat G Parthasarathy said.

He was speaking on `Experiences, Challenges of Terrorism in India` on the opening day of the three-day conference on Securing Asia 2012 at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre here on Monday.

"The main terrorist challenges that India will now face are likely to arise primarily from developments in Afghanistan, especially if the Taliban or Haqqani network should succeed in seizing control of large parts of Southern Afghanistan," he said.

Parthasarathy, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in New Delhi, said: "The Taliban has, in the past, provided training facilities for anti-Indian groups like the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, colluded with the hijackers of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 and even offered to send thousands of volunteers to establish control over high mountain areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

"In more recent times, the Haqqani network has attacked Indian construction projects and diplomatic and consular missions in Afghanistan".

He said India would like to cooperate with regional countries and the international community to ensure that Afghan soil does not become a haven for terrorists, who are determined to attack Indian soil and Indian interests abroad.

Noting that it would be a lunacy to send Indian soldiers to Afghanistan, Parthasarathy said "what we are interested in is economic prosperity of Afghanistan. India, Pakistan and Iran should work for development of Afghanistan.

"What is necessary is inclusive approach to economic development of Afghanistan. It is a question of getting a measure of stability there".