Pak must bring 26/11 perpetrators to book

Boston: The perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks must be brought to justice if talks between India and Pakistan, resumed "despite the pressure of terrorism" emanating from the neighbouring country, have to be productive, a top Indian diplomat said today.

India is desirous of building a "future with Pakistan defined by the power of cooperation rather than the perils of conflict that leads us to hope for a stable, moderate and prosperous Pakistan," Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar said.

Speaking to students at the Harvard Kennedy School here, Shankar said India has "repeatedly extended the hand of friendship (to Pakistan), despite the pressure of terrorism emanating from Pakistan – as investigations after the Mumbai terrorist attacks and revelations of US national David Headley have shown."

While India has resumed talks with Pakistan, with the two countries even engaging in cricket diplomacy during the World Cup, Shankar said: "for the resumed dialogue to be productive, our concerns on terrorism must be addressed and all those responsible for the Mumbai attack brought to book."

Shankar said the surge of violent extremism in India`s neighbourhood is affecting the entire world.

"There are countries in uncertain political transitions. And the arc of clandestine proliferation that extends from East Asia to West Asia runs through our neighbourhood."

In this context, Shankar said success in helping Afghans build a stable and sovereign country, "free from extremist pressure," is important not just for the Afghans or south Asia but equally for "our collective future."

India does not see Afghanistan as a theatre of regional competition, she said, adding that it as a potential hub of energy, trade and transit linking central Asia and south Asia.

"In Afghanistan we are engaged in development activities, we are not engaged in any security role. Pakistan also has to overcome the imagined paranoia about what India is doing in Afghanistan."

New Delhi is also discussing with Washington the possibility of pursuing joint development projects with the Afghan government in capacity building, agriculture and women`s empowerment, the envoy added. .