India: Pakistan still failing to crack down on militants

India’s defence minister said on Friday that Pakistan was still failing to crack down on militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks, and said that New Delhi had not deployed troops despite tensions with its neighbour.

India has been mobilising world support to press Pakistan to crack down on militant networks there that have been blamed for November attacks in Mumbai that left 179 people dead.

New Delhi says it has repeatedly provided Islamabad with evidence of use of Pakistani soil by militants, but Pakistani authorities have rejected those claims, saying the proof was not credible.

“I don’t think [there is] any noticeable change in the attitude of Pakistan,” Indian Defence Minister AK Antony told reporters in New Delhi.

“Statements are not important, actions are important. They have to prove by their action.”

“When more than 30 terrorist outfits are still operating in Pakistan, how can I say there is a real improvement or real change in attitude?” Antony added.

Pakistan launched raids on militants on its soil in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks and detained several Islamist leaders wanted by India. But India said it was not satisfied and Pakistan needed to do more.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals have mounted with near-daily exchange of tough words and flexing of military muscles.

Pakistan has cancelled army leave and moved a “limited number” of soldiers off the Afghan border “for defensive measures”, urging India to stand down its troops and deactivate forward air bases.

But India has said it was not making any wartime deployment.

“We have not escalated issues. There is no unusual troop movement from our side,” Antony said.

“Whatever is happening, whatever is taking place is an exercise and it is normal only. They are not doing any provocation.

“We have to be ever-ready and our armed forces are doing their duty. They are not lowering their guard and are in a state of full preparation.”

Asked if India had given any deadline by which Pakistan has to act, Antony said: “There is no time limit.

“Only thing is they must act. Action is important.”

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 and came to the brink of a fourth after gunmen attacked the Indian Parliament in December 2001.

India has put a “pause” on a five-year-old peace process that had brought warmer ties.—Reuters



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