Pak must do more to rebuild confidence with India: Aus

Australia said Pak should regain India's confidence by taking action against LeT and bringing to justice perpetrators of Mumbai attacks.

Written by Agencies | Islamabad | Published: February 16, 2009 3:29:33 pm

Australia said Pakistan should regain India’s confidence by taking action against the Lashker-e-Taiba terror group and bringing to justice perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith,who arrived here on a three-day visit on Monday,said Pakistan has to do “more” and India’s confidence would be “part of the test” of whether Islamabad is doing enough to control terrorism within

its borders.

“Well,Lashker-e-Taiba… needs to be brought under control,” Smith told Australian Broadcasting Corporation before departing for Pakistan.

“It’s quite clear that the LeT was involved in the terrible attack on Mumbai and the perpetrators themselves need to be brought to justice to build confidence back between India and Pakistan and then to start the constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Describing Pakistan’s response to the Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks as “welcome,” and said: “But we think there’s more that Pakistan has to do.”

Asked how he would judge if Pakistan is doing enough to control terrorism,Smith replied: “Well,part of the test will be the confidence that India has… The test will be,what is India’s perception or India’s view,which is why I say and Australia says we need to ensure that what Pakistan does rebuild confidence with India.” Pakistan last week said it had filed formal charges under an anti-terror law against nine suspects linked to the Mumbai incident and acknowledged that part of the conspiracy behind the attacks was hatched on its soil.

Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said six of the nine suspects were in the custody of Pakistani authorities.

Smith said he would tell his Pakistani interlocutors “very strongly” that the “terrorist element has to be brought to justice and essentially brought under control”. He said he would also “be making the point that we need to bring the presence of the Taliban and other extremists and terrorist organisations in the federally administered (tribal) areas or the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area under control”.

“That is a matter of direct and immediate interest to Australia given the presence of our troops in Afghanistan,but it’s also a matter of intense regional interest and I’ll be encouraging Pakistan to continue to treat that threat as a threat to Pakistan…,” Smith said.

As part of plans to help Pakistan suppress terrorists by offering counter-insurgency expertise,Australia is considering a “four-fold increase in the number of Pakistani armed forces personnel to whom we provide training”,he said.

Smith said Pakistan “understands that terrorist threat,is a threat to its own existence as well,not just having implications for Afghanistan. And as President (Asif Ali) Zardari has said they are looking at Pakistan’s survival,not just the survival of neighbouring countries.”

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