Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Pakistan melting pot of terror: Sarkozy

Pakistan melting pot of terror: Sarkozy
Posted by K4Kashmir on December 7, 2010 in Pakistan | 0 Comment Edit
Pakistan melting pot of terror: Sarkozy
Bella Jaisinghani, TNN, Dec 8, 2010, 12.53am IST

MUMBAI: Shedding the niceties of protocol, the president of France on Tuesday described terrorist groups like the Taliban and al-Qaida as savages who claim to serve the ideal of religion and nationhood. Calling Pakistan the melting pot of terror, Nicolas Sarkozy repeatedly said it was unacceptable the way that country was subverting the security of India as well as Afghanistan.

A month to the day after the US President was in the city, Sarkozy’s frank demeanour was in hearty contrast to Obama’s subdued diplomacy.

Speaking in French, which was translated for the media, Sarkozy thundered, “The Mumbai attack proved one more time that terrorism is nothing but criminal activity. It pretends to act for political or religious objectives, but it is just savagery. It pretends to serve ideals but it injures them through its acts.”

In his 20-minute speech, he said, “It is unacceptable that India’s security can be threatened by terrorists acting from neighbouring countries.

It is unacceptable for Afghanistan and for our troops that the Taliban and al-Qaida find safe haven in the border regions of Pakistan. We know the price that the Pakistani people are paying for terrorism, but it is unacceptable for the world that terrorist acts should be masterminded and carried out by terrorist groups in Pakistan… I call on all Pakistani authorities to step up their efforts and show that they are resolute in combating these criminals.”

Fifty-five-year-old Sarkozy, who is of Hungarian descent, and his 43-year-old Italian-born wife, Carla Bruni, a supermodel and singer, arrived in Mumbai from New Delhi at 11.15am on the last leg of their four-day visit to India. The first couple were aptly dressed for the ensuing 26/11 tributes as well as the business-trade summit, having picked sober colours from their wardrobes. The President wore a dark-grey suit, sky-blue shirt and navy-blue tie, while Bruni, heiress of the CEAT empire, complemented him by wearing a white half-sleeved top and black trousers with black shoes to go. Her hair was pinned back in a formal bun.

Upon arrival, the dignitaries were led to the martyrs’ memorial at Police Gymkhana where Sarkozy placed a wreath prepared in the colours of the French flag. Shortly after, he left for Trident hotel, where he made the most fiery speech of his Indian tour.

What was expected to be a brief formal statement condemning the Mumbai attacks turned out to be an emotional show of solidarity with a martyred city that awaits justice. Unlike the tactful phrases employed by Obama, Sarkozy cut to the chase. Mincing no words, he likened 26/11 to America’s 9/11 and berated Pakistan for continuing to remain a safe haven for the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Promising India total, unrestricted cooperation of the French government, the head of state complimented PM Manmohan Singh for the remarkable restraint he had shown in aftermath. “There will be no limit to the operational cooperation that India will receive in its counter-terrorism operations,” he said. However, he cautioned that resorting to inhumane methods to arrest extremists would mean falling into the terrorists’ trap, and asked countries to also curb injustice so that educated, qualified youths do not fall prey to false ideals.

Given that France is fighting its own battle with Islamist terror, the President recalled that his own fellow citizens were martyred in the Mumbai attacks. “France itself has been menaced and blackmailed by Islamist terrorists to whom it may not give in. France has intensified its efforts to eradicate terrorism,” Sarkozy said. He also said that France valued its relations with Pakistan. A Pakistan which is democratic, stable and prosperous is in the interest of this region and the world, Sarkozy said.

As a corollary to his sharp statement against terror, Sarkozy conferred medals of honour on Devendra Bharma, executive vice-president of the Oberoi, and Karambir Kang, former general manager of the Taj, for their bravery in helping hotel guests escape during the 26/11 siege. “You were there day and night, making decisions even at the cost of your own lives,” he told them.

Some of Mumbai’s other heroes, like CST announcer Vishnu Zende as well as RPF inspector Jillu Yadav, were also invited to the ceremony, as was Kavita Karkare, widow of slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare. Sarkozy shook hands with some of them as he departed.

Read more: Pakistan melting pot of terror: Sarkozy – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-melting-pot-of-terror-Sarkozy/articleshow/7062460.cms#ixzz17TGLrSRb

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