NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – War is “no solution” to stop Pakistan-based militants from launching anti-India attacks, India said on Thursday, while Pakistan vowed to act against militants added to a U.N. terrorist list after the Mumbai attacks.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Pakistan would comply with a U.N. decision to put on its terrorist list four leaders of a charity India and the United States say is a front for the outlawed militant group that orchestrated last month’s attacks.
“Pakistan has taken note of the designation of certain individuals and entities by the U.N. … and would fulfil its international obligations,” a statement from his office quoted him as telling visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.
Pakistan’s Interior Ministry subsequently said it had put Jamaat-ud-Dawaan, the charity regarded as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, under monitoring. “All provincial governments as well as authorities in the Northern Areas have been ordered to keep the offices of Jamaat-ud-Dawa under monitoring and seal them if needed,” Shahidullah Beg, the ministry’s spokesman, told Reuters. He declined to say whether the group was being banned.
The U.N. designation means those on the list can have their financial assets seized and a travel ban imposed upon them.
Keeping up the pressure on Pakistan, Negroponte arrived in Islamabad on Thursday, following up U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visits to India and Pakistan last week.
Washington has engaged in intensive diplomacy to stop tensions from mounting between Pakistan and India, and keeping Islamabad focused on fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda.
India has been angry at what it sees as the Pakistani government’s tolerance of militants, and Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday told parliament India expected Pakistan to follow up on its demands to act.
“We have given them lists of 40 persons not one, not 20 — lists of 40 persons and we have also pointed out that their denial is not going to resolve the issue,” Mukherjee said.
Indian officials had previously demanded that Pakistan hand over 20 suspected militants, some of them linked to last month’s Mumbai attacks in which 179 people were killed by gunmen that Indian police say were from Pakistan.
India says the Kashmiri militant group (LeT) is responsible for the attacks, and earlier attacks including one in 2001 on India’s parliament that nearly thrust the nuclear-armed foes into a fourth war.
Asked by an angry lawmaker why India was not attacking Pakistan after so much proof of its complicity in fomenting trouble in India, Mukherjee replied: “That is no solution.”
Global pressure has seen Pakistan raid several Islamist militant training camps and detain or arrest some of the militant leaders India wants extradited.
Pakistani security forces have arrested around 20 militants in raids, an intelligence official told Reuters on Thursday. But Mukherjee said that alone was not enough. “Therefore if it is not followed to the logical conclusion — complete dismantling of the infrastructure facilities available from that side to facilitate terrorist attack, of banning the organisations — how does that help us?” he said.
Analysts say Pakistani intelligence has ties to some of those India wants, and that its civilian government risks political fallout if it acts against them.
India’s list includes the founders of at least two Kashmiri militant groups fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region that New Delhi says have broadened their activity to attack other Indian cities as well.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday added one of those men, Hafiz Saeed, and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity group to its terrorist list, after receiving a request from the United States. “We will not accept any decision taken under Indian pressure,” Saeed told a news conference in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore. “This decision was taken to defame Pakistan.”
Saeed led the LeT jihadi group until December 2001, when he quit a few days before Pakistan complied with a U.S. move to put the group on a list of individuals and organisations with links to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Three other Pakistanis associated with Lashkar were also put on the list, which sanctions a freeze on assets.
Saeed, one of the most wanted men in India, has since headed Jamaat-ud-Dawa.