Demand for action against terrorists outdated

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday described as "outdated" India`s demand for action against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir saying that such statements were not "helpful" for the peace process.

"It is a familiar line (and) outdated. It is some part of the old system repeating itself," Bashir told a news conference here while responding to a question about India`s demand for action against terrorists believed to be holed up in Pakistan, including those responsible for the Mumbai incident.

"This line of thinking is mired in a mindset that is neither realistic nor productive. Such statements are not very helpful," he said, referring to the recent resumption of dialogue between the two countries after a gap of over two years.

Bashir said "good meetings" have been held between the Home and Interior Secretaries and the Commerce Secretaries of India and Pakistan and Islamabad was "talking of cooperation at various levels".

"Nevertheless, Pakistan continues to approach such issues with a spirit of confidence in itself," he said.

India suspended its peace process in the wake of the assault on Mumbai, which was blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taeba and its front organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday noted that bin Laden had been killed by US forces "deep inside Pakistan" and said this underlined India`s "concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan".

"We believe that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, including the controllers and handlers of the terrorists who actually carried out the attack, continue to be sheltered in Pakistan," he said.

Chidambaram called on the Pakistan government to arrest persons whose names have been handed over by India and to provide voice samples of persons suspected of being the controllers and handlers of the attackers.