US builds pressure on Pak

deepak pace

US builds pressure on Pak; India mulls military strike.
New Delhi: India and the United States of America are keeping the pressure up on Pakistan but US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Islamabad is just not doing enough to curbs the activities of terror groups.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee slammed the Pakistani government's attitude on cracking down on terror organisations following the Mumbai terror attacks.

"One of the terrorist who has been captured alive has given us a chilling account of his handlers. A few months earlier the Indian Embassy in Kabul was the target of a terrorist attack. The impunity with which these attacks are carried out is possible only because of the safety the handlers have been assured," said Mukherjee.

India also shared with Interpol details of the nine terrorists who were killed in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Interpol will seek more information about them from Pakistan.

But India is demanding answers to a more fundamental question as well as to just who is in charge in Islamabad.

Is it Pakistan President Asif Ali Zaradri or is it Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani?

"The pretence of democracy is not equivalent to democratisation. We do not believe that it is for us to advocate how other countries should be governed but we most certainly like to know whom we should deal with viz-a-viz another government. In other words who runs the show?" asked an angry Mukherjee.

Pranab's point was that the Zardari government is obligated to punish those who carried out the Mumbai attacks and it is a view echoed in Washington as well.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said, "We have seen some positive steps, though they are not nearly enough at this point. It's a new civilian government just finding its footing in Pakistan."

But what if Pakistan is unwilling or unable to act in the days ahead?

Mukherjee has already said that all options are open giving credence to the claim made by influential geopolitical think tank Stratfor, which believes India is ready to attack Pakistan.

According to Stratfor precision strikes in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and special operations in Pakistan are merely awaiting a political go ahead leaving Islamabad to remember its powerful friends.

"When friends like China are with us how can we be isolated," claimed Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

India is aware that military strikes will not root out terrorism from Pakistan but it is also aware at the same time that such strikes have symbolic value ahead of elections.