Monday, July 17, 2006

Major diplomatic failure for Government of India at G8 meet

In this post I had reported how India's lame-duck Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was travelling to the G8 summit in Russia with information about two Pakistani fidayeen terrorists caught in Central India who had confessed to having been part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba group that carried out the horrific train blasts that killed over 200 and injured over 700 Indians in Mumbai on July 11 2006.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh travelled to Russia with the aim of getting the G8 countries to unequivically come out in support of India and condemn the unquestionable involvement of Pakistan in repeated acts of terror against innocent Indian citizens over the last 3 decades and more.

Well, the lame-duck Prime Minister has suffered a major diplomatic loss at the G8 summit: the G8 countries have not even mentioned Mumbai or India in their statement,leave alone coming down on Pakistan for having carried it out. They have simply issued another anti-terrorism statement of the kind they have been issuing every year since the 9/11 terrorist attack on USA.

This once again underscores the fact that the terror attacks against India are not something the Western countries take as seriously as they do the attacks against their own people, such as those that occurred on 9/11 in America, or 7/7 in UK.

This is not something unexpected. Every country in the world has the legitimate right to be selfish. There is no reason the Western countries should feel responsible for helping fight India's struggle against Islamic terrorism.

What is less acceptable is that our doddering old leader Manmohan Singh was unable to get the G8 leaders to even acknowledge the terror attack against India in their summit statement.

With the kind of information he had on Pakistan's involvement -- the two captured Pakistanis who had confessed to having been part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba group that carried out the most recent Mumbai blasts, a more able and clever diplomat would have had a fair chance of getting Pakistan to earn a severe reprimand in the G8 summit statement at the very least, and perhaps even a warning of being placed on the Terrorism watch-list like ex Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had succeeded in having done to Pakistan after the 1993 Mumbai blasts organized by Pakistan in the last decade.

Instead, the G8 countries did not even mention Mumbai or India in its anti-terrorism statement, and of course made no mention of Pakistan's continuing export of terror into India.

The anti-terrorism statement is nothing new; it has been a regular fixture of G8 summits ever since 9/11. Now Manmohan Singh and his Congress Party are trying to give the impression that getting that statement is a major achievement for India.

This was a stunning diplomatic failure for this old man who has repeatedly let India down ever since he became the lame-duck powerless Prime Minister in Sonia Nehru's remote-controlled Government.

It is time for India to get newer leaders.

Times of India reports:
G8 flays terrorism; stays mum on Mumbai

ST PETERSBURG: Leaders of the world's eight wealthiest nations have categorically denounced terrorist attacks worldwide and strongly condemned the perpetrators of these atrocities. Without mentioning the recent blasts in Mumbai's commuter trains that killed 200 people, the leaders of Russia, the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan have expressed "deepest sympathy" to all victims of these attacks.

"We, the leaders of the G-8, meeting in St Petersburg, categorically denounce terrorist attacks worldwide and condemn in the strongest terms those who perpetrate these atrocities and bring untold suffering and death to citizens," the G-8 counter-terrorism statement said.

"If terrorism and violent extremism are permitted to exist anywhere, they diminish our societies everywhere. Today we pledge that we will not rest until the terrible blight of terrorism has been removed from our daily lives."

Noting that the global terrorist threat requires a global response, the G-8 sought coordinated action by its members and its international partners to reduce the likelihood of attacks and to address their terrible consequences.

Recognising the centrality of the UN's role in achieving universal agreement on the condemnation of terrorism, the G-8 emphasised the urgency of enhancing cooperation to counter terrorist and other criminal attacks on critical energy infrastructure facilities.

A plan of action to secure critical global energy infrastructure, including defining and ranking vulnerabilities of key infrastructure sites, assessing emerging and potential risks of terrorist attacks, and developing best practices for effective security across all energy sectors within G-8 countries has also been finalised at the summit under Russia's rotating presidency.

Among the other steps announced by G-8 are implementing and improving the international legal framework on counter-terrorism, ensuring national legislation is adapted to address new terrorist challenges, suppressing attempts by terrorists to gain access to weapons and other means of mass destruction, and engaging in active dialogue with civil society to help prevent terrorism.

The countries also will enhance efforts to counter the financing of terrorism based on agreed standards, and develop and implement an effective strategy to counter terrorist propaganda and recruitment, including the use of suicide bombers while effectively countering attempts to misuse cyberspace for terrorist purposes, including incitement to commit terrorist acts and to communicate and plan terrorist acts.

They also vowed to prevent any abuse of the migration regime for terrorist purposes while at the same time facilitating legitimate travel.

They called for bringing to justice, in accordance with obligations under international law, those guilty of terrorist acts as well as their sponsors, supporters, those who plan such acts and those who incite terrorist acts.


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