President Asif Ali Zardari has pleaded for dialogue to fight terrorism in South Asia but told India not to push Islamabad too hard for action against extremists one month after the Mumbai attacks. In an emotional speech delivered on Saturday on the first anniversary of the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, he said Pakistan would fight the "cancer" of extremism. His comments came as the United States, Russia and other nations tried to defuse tension between Pakistan and India, which escalated due to statements of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and even head of Congress Sonia Gandhi. On Friday, officials in Islamabad announced that troops had been moved to the border after the news that there were movements of the Indian army in Rajasthan sector, sending the message loud and clear that Pakistan is ready to meet any eventuality. India has named Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for Mumbai carnage and accused Islamabad of not doing enough to clamp down on it. President Zardari, however, firmly rejected the notion and said: "We have non-state actors. Yes, they are forcing an agenda on us but we shall take action against them because we need it, not because you want it." Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee had demanded of Pakistan "to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and return Indian fugitives hiding in the country. It should fulfill its commitments and must take action against terrorists operating from its soil". He also said that option of unilateral attack was open. Perhaps Indian leadership is under the wrong impression that Pakistan will take it lying down, as Pakistan has not downed any drone despite issuing warnings to NATO. But India is neither a super power nor a partner in war on terror that 'margin' could be given. Nor Pakistan is Afghanistan that any country can do the carpet bombing or surgical strike as demanded by some irresponsible elements in India. In fact the entire thrust of Indian leaders, its think tanks, the US and the West was to bring Pakistan's premier agency into disrepute on the false pretext that it is a state within state. Their real motive is to weaken the ISI and the army, which they consider the main hurdle in their scheme of things and plans for the region. Since allies of the US are not willing to die in Afghanistan, the US is constrained to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But the US was looking for mercenary army, and according to reports India has offered to send 150,000 troops to Afghanistan. In return, the US wants to establish India as a regional and a global power to look after its interests in the region. Mumbai carnage of 26th November appears to be a ploy to pressurize Pakistan to accept India's hegemony over its neighbours especially Pakistan. When they talk of neutralizing Pakistan's nuclear deterrent, their intent is clear. The US, its allies and India are watching Pakistani leadership, and if it shows any weakness they will continue to pressurize Pakistan more and more. Anyhow, they failed in their objective to bring ISI under civilian rule or reduce its importance. Perhaps our leaders have understood that weakening the premier agency means weakening the army and consequently Pakistan. In fact, Indian leadership's posturing has been the result of Pakistan foreign office's defensive approach in the past. After suicide attack on Marriot Hotel, Pakistan did not even mention that RAW could be involved in the incident. And recently an important government functionary said that Pakistani non-state actors were involved in Marriot Hotel Islamabad attack, thus giving the clean chit to India that it was not involved. But after 26th November's Mumbai terrorist attack, there was a coordinated action by leaders of ruling and opposition parties in their media 'blitz' on Pakistan.
Source.Frontier Post

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