NEW DELHI — Calling Pakistan the epicenter of terrorist attacks against India, the Indian foreign minister urged the government there to do more than detain leaders of extremist groups, even as he all but ruled out the prospect of a military confrontation.
On Dec.11, India’s foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, told members of Parliament that India would take time to turn off the tap of support for militant groups operating across the border, and that war was “no solution.”
“We shall have to patiently confront it,” he said. “We have no intention to be provoked.”
In Pakistan, the government signaled limited moves against a charity widely believed to act as a front for the militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), that Indian and Western intelligence officials say was behind the Mumbai attacks last month. Security officials surrounded the home of Hafiz Saeed, a founder of LeT, and the charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
“Police have encircled the house of Hafiz Saeed in Lahore and told him he cannot go out of the home,” said Abdullah Montazir, his spokesman. “They have told him detention orders will be formally served to him shortly.
Mukherjee, speaking in Parliament’s first session since the three-day siege of Mumbai, reiterated India’s demand for Pakistan to hand over about 40 fugitives and suspects whom it says are taking shelter in Pakistan. His comments seemed to avoid directly criticizing the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, and his democratically elected government.
It was India’s first response to Pakistan’s crackdown on camps and leaders of LeT, accused in the Mumbai attacks that killed 163 people, along with nine gunmen. Pakistani officials in Islamabad announced the arrests earlier this week.
In Islamabad, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said he told the American Deputy Secretary of State, John D. Negroponte, that Pakistan “would fulfill its international obligations.” The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying Jamaat-ud-Dawa would be put under monitoring and its offices sealed if necessary.
Indian citizens and police officials alike have expressed concern about follow-on attacks by terrorists who might have escaped during the mayhem of the assault.