Strong regime needed to fight terror in Pakistan: India


New Delhi : Amid reports of deepening political instability and rumours of a coup in Pakistan, India Thursday underlined the need for a “strong and stable regime” in the neighbourhood that will enable Islamabad to fight against terrorists in its territory.

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“The recent developments in Pakistan are an internal matter of the country. We never comment on internal matters of any sovereign nation,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

“Pakistan is an important neighbour. I hope that all internal matters will be resolved by its leadership amicably and peacefully, in its best interests,” he said.

He was responding to questions on reports of strains in relations between the powerful army and the political leadership in Pakistan and the political standoff between President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif that has fuelled reports about a possible military coup in that country.

“We have always been interested to see strong and stable regimes, more so in our neighbourhood, so that the entire region can grow and develop together for the common good of its people,” Mukherjee said.

“This is even more relevant to Pakistan, to enable her to fight against elements in the country that are utilising the terror infrastructure there and engaging in terrorism within Pakistan and outside,” the minister stressed.

India is deeply concerned about deepening political instability in Pakistan and the deals with the Taliban in the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP) that has raised the spectre of a Taliban takeover of that country.

Mukherjee’s remarks come at a time when India is expected to reply to 30 questions raised by Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks that will enable Pakistani authorities to build a stronger case for the prosecution of six Pakistani suspects detained for their alleged involvement in the terror strikes in November last year.