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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2793

India turns heat on Pak, summons HC, gives him a demarche

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 021 December, ( India-Pak relations are hitting a low in the wake of terrorist strikes in Mumbai last week which claimed nearly 200 lives and left over 300 injured.

The Pakistan High Commissioner, Shahid Malik was summoned to the Foreign Office on Monday and Joint Secretary (Pakistan) in the external affairs ministry, T C A Raghavan issued a demarche to him over the Mumbai strikes. The demarche accused Pakistan of failing to curb terrorism emanating from its soil, according to informed sources.

The demarche (a written note) is diplomatic tool to register a protest; and signals that the five-year-old peace process with Pakistan is on the verge of being frozen.

The demarche was from external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to his counterpart Qureshi. It bluntly asked Pakistan to live up to its January 2004 promise of clamping down on terrorist groups operating from its soil.

Police investigating the Mumbai mayhem said that there is enough evidence to show that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan. The lone surviving terrorist now in police custody had revealed that 24 persons were trained for the attack, but only 10 were selected for the job. The training was organised by Lashkar-e-Taiba and covered handling weapons, bomb making, survival strategies, survival in a marine environment and even dietary habits. The terrorists reportedly told the police a former member of the Pakistani army conducted the training.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting of the Cabinet committee on security Tuesday to discuss various options before the government vis-à-vis Pakistan. These range from calling off the dialogue process to discontinuing air and rail links.

Foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon is on his way to Washington with evidence of Pakistan hand behind Mumbai carnage. Among the documents he is reportedly carrying are the arrested terrorist's confession and intercepts of satellite phone conversations between the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Islamabad remained in the denial mode. It ha s in fact launched a counter-campaign with Washington against New Delhi.

-Asian Tribune -

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