New Delhi: India has hit out at Pakistan
for pursuing terrorism as an "instrument of state policy",
saying such a strategy was "flawed and self-defeating".
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is likely to meet
her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Thimphu on the
margins of a SAARC Committee meeting, said, "Some countries
presume that they can pursue terrorism as an instrument of
state policy without risks to themselves or to their standing
in the international community.
"This is a flawed and self-defeating presumption as
the war on terrorism cannot be selective. We have always
maintained that a stable and prosperous Pakistan is in India’s
interest. Pakistan must turn away from using terror-induced
coercion as an instrument of policy against India."
Rao, who was delivering a speech at a seminar on
`Asian Security Challenges`, asserted that "the epicentre of
global terrorism is located in our neighbourhood".
Apart from asking Pakistan to fulfill its commitment
of not allowing its territory to be used against anti-India
acts during the meeting, Rao is also expected to raise India`s
demand for expeditious punishment for all those responsible
for the Mumbai terror attacks especially in view of Home
Secretary GK Pillai`s recent remarks that attempt to bring
the guilty in Mumbai attacks to justice "has not moved an
inch" in Pakistan.
Noting that the horrendous attacks on the Indian
Embassy in Kabul and the Mumbai attacks two years ago
demonstrated the barbaric forms that terrorism can take, Rao
said there are terror groups, some that even enjoy the
patronage of elements of state structures, that target India
from across our borders.
"These groups are developing transnational linkages,
in terms of recruitment, training, planning and financing of
specific attacks. There is increasing evidence that al Qaeda,
the LeT and the Taliban are conducting coordinated and in fact
operationally fused terror attacks," she said.
The roll back and elimination of the terror
infrastructure in Pakistan can go a long way in securing
stability and security not just in South Asia, but more widely
across Asia and indeed the globe, the Foreign Secretary said.
Without naming Pakistan, Rao also criticised it for
interfering with Afghanistan`s internal affairs in the name of
"The Afghan people should be allowed to rebuild their
land in conditions of peace and security, free from
interference from their neighbours. The Afghan people have
time and again proven that they would like to be arbiters of
their own destiny and would not like to be dictated to by
those seeking to impose their own narrow strategic
"Any attempts to seek so called ‘strategic depth’
would flounder against the reality of the indomitable sense of
Afghan independence and nationalism," she said.