January 10, 2009 6:01:40 pm
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday accused the world of double standards in dealing with the Mumbai attacks and terrorist incidents in Pakistan,saying there was no need for the international community to make so much noise about the strike in India’s financial hub.
Gilani sought to compare the terrorist attacks in Mumbai to the Israeli strikes in Gaza and what he termed atrocities being committed on innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir and questioned why the world community was silent on such issues.
“We have to see that the world does not have double standards,” he said on the sidelines of an official function in this southern port city.
Noting that hundreds of people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on slain former Premier Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming motorcade in Karachi in October 2007 and that several foreigners,including an envoy,were killed in the suicide bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September,2008,Gilani asked,”how much noise the world community had made about these incidents.
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“How much noise did the world make then? Why didn’t they say anything?” he said.
“Where was the world then? The world should think in a neutral manner. There is no need for them to make so much noise on one incident,” he added.
Gilani said: “As far as the Mumbai incident is concerned – see how many innocent children and women have been killed in Palestine. That is no less than the Mumbai attacks. So why is no one speaking about that? Why is the world silent on that?”
“Whatever is happening in Kashmir,atrocities are being committed against innocent people there. When they speak of indigenous self-determination,that cannot be classified as terrorism. Why is the world silent on that,” Gilani asked.
He attributed the Mumbai attacks to an intelligence failure in India,saying this was the neighbouring country’s internal matter. He added: “As far as the world is concerned,it is presenting this one incident in an exaggerated manner.”
Pakistan is prepared for complete cooperation with India to probe the Mumbai incident,including intelligence cooperation. “But we do not want that they should demoralise or ridicule Pakistan through the media or diplomacy,” he said.
“You should not think Pakistan is weak. Pakistan is strong and its defence is strong. The country’s army is strong and highly professional. There is no need to feel threatened,” he added.
With a hint of sarcasm,he said: “They say 10 people held the whole of India hostage. We pray for their security everyday because if any other incident happens in India,it will be blamed on us. We are now defending two countries,not one. We are defending them and ourselves.”
At the same time,he said Pakistan wants good relations with all neighbours,including India and Afghanistan.
Gilani also repeated an assertion he had made some time ago that more people had died in the suicide bombing on Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi than in the Mumbai attacks. He said over 180 people were killed in the bombing of the motorcade in October 2007.
According to most accounts,about 140 people were killed in the bombing of Bhutto’s motorcade while over 180 people were killed in the Mumbai attacks.
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