Pakistan must end activities of terrorist groups: Manmohan after Osama bin Laden's death
PTI | May 2, 2011, 07.00pm IST
NEW DELHI: India on Monday termed Osama bin Laden's killing as a "decisive blow" to al-Qaida even as it voiced serious concern over terrorists finding sanctuary deep inside Pakistan and pressed Islamabad to arrest perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior ministers P Chidambaram and S M Krishna came out with separate statements hours after US President Barack Obama announced that 54-year-old Osama, the most wanted terrorist in the world, was shot dead in a US operation in Abbotabad, 120 km from the Pakistan capital early today.
They asked the international community not to let down its united effort to combat terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries provided in the neighbourhood.
The Prime Minister described Osama's killing as a "significant step forward " and hope that it will deal a decisive blow to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
He said the "international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilised behaviour and kill innocent men, women and children".
The killing of the global terrorist "deep inside Pakistan" underlines India's apprehension that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in that country, said Chidambaram.
"We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which President Obama said that the fire fight in which Osama Bin Laden was killed took place in Abbotabad 'deep inside Pakistan'.
"This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan," he said.
The minister said the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attack, including the controllers and handlers of the terrorists, continue to be sheltered in Pakistan.
"We once again call upon the Government of Pakistan to arrest the persons whose names have been handed over to the interior minister of Pakistan as well as provide voice samples of certain persons who are suspected to be among the controllers and handlers of the terrorists," he said.
He said that the US had reason to go after Osama and bring him to justice.
"After the September 11, 2001, terror attack, the US had a reason to seek Osama bin Laden and bring him and his accomplices to justice," the statement said.
Terming Osama's killing as a "victorious milestone" in the global war against terrorism, Krishna said the world "must not let down" its united effort to eliminate the safe havens that have been provided to terrorists in its neighbourhood.
"This operation brings to closure an almost decade-long search for the head of the al-Qaida," he said.
Asserting that the struggle must continue "unabated", Krishna said, "The world must not let down its united effort to overcome terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood.