India beginning to lose “it”… Shameless attitude of India continues…
India’s stand fraught with risks: Zardari
By Syed Irfan Raza
ISLAMABAD, Jan 6:
The government ’emphatically rejected’ on Tuesday an allegation by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that Pakistan was involved in sponsoring terrorism in India.
It said India had embarked on a ‘propaganda offensive’ and such allegations would jeopardise chances of cooperation against terrorism.
According to sources, the Indian allegations were rejected during a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani held soon after Dr Singh’s statement on Tuesday.
Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood Ahmed also called on the president and toldhim that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was capable of foiling any aggression.
President Zardari urged the Indian leadership to refrain from hurling allegations about involvement of official agencies in the Mumbai attacks, because this could only escalate tension.
He said Pakistan would itself take action against ‘non-state actors’ involved in the Mumbai carnage and there was no question of their extradition to India.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq quoted President Zardari as saying: “Instead of responding positively to Pakistan’s offer of cooperation and constructive proposals, India has chosen to embark on a propaganda offensive. The approach is fraught with grave risks.”
“Vilifying Pakistan, or for that matter any of its state institutions, on this score is unwarranted and unacceptable. This is a sure way to close avenues of cooperation in combating the menace (of terrorism),” the spokesman said at a briefing.
“It will not only ratchet up tensions, but occlude facts and destroy all prospects of serious and objective investigations into the Mumbai attacks,” he said.
He said the Indian approach would vitiate the situation in South Asia.
“Only yesterday, the government of India was advised not to embark on political point-scoring. Regrettably this advice has not been heeded,” he said.
The spokesman said that Pakistan was a victim of terrorism and this pernicious phenomenon was regionally pervasive.
“Pakistan has suffered more terror attacks than India. But we have not lost our equanimity,” he said.
Mr Sadiq said Pakistan did not sponsor terrorism. “Our civillian and armed forces’ casualties over the past year in terror attacks and in countering terrorism have been far more than those of India.” He said several South Asian states had been victims of all kinds and manifestations of terrorism.
The Government of Pakistan expects the Government of India to demonstrate restraint and responsibility. The policy of casting accusations without uncovering full facts and even while the investigations are still continuing is irresponsible.
“Pakistan strongly rejects efforts at political and military coercion which are counter-productive. India must refrain from hostile propaganda and must not whip up tensions. It must also take steps to de-escalate its offensive military posture against Pakistan,” he said.
“We need no exhortations from India. Indian government is well advised to take careful stock of its own policies and conduct that are contributory to the problems facing South Asia,” he said.
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