India to Pakistan: Give up double standards, bring 26/11 perpetrators to justice
In a strong attack on the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 terror strikes, India on Monday asked Pakistan to give up its "double standards" and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators to justice, saying its planners still roamed the streets of the neighbouring country with impunity.
India also welcomed the statement issued by the United States on Monday calling on Pakistan to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.
In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said it was a matter of deep anguish that even after 10 years of the heinous terror attack, the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe still await closure, with Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
"The planners of 26/11 still roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity. The 26/11 terrorist attack was planned, executed and launched from Pakistan territory." the statement said.
It referred to the remarks of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan-based non-state actors or militant organisations played a role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
"The former Prime Minister of Pakistan had earlier this year admitted that the terrorists were sent from Pakistan's soil. We once again call on the Government of Pakistan to give up double standards and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice.
"This is not just a matter of Pakistan's accountability to the families of the innocent victims who fell to terrorists, but also an international obligation," the ministry said.
It said the Indian government will continue its efforts to bring justice to the families of the victims and the martyrs.
The External Affairs Ministry statement said that the government and the people of India sombrely remember the victims of the dastardly attack and the martyred security personnel who laid down their lives.
It said that President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in separate messages, have expressed their firm solidarity with the families of the victims and martyrs.
A solemn memorial event and wreath-laying ceremony were organised on Monday by the Maharashtra government at the Police Memorial in Mumbai and the Memorial at Taj Hotel, Mumbai.
The Indian missions in fourteen other countries, which lost their nationals in these attacks, organised memorial events remembering the victims, both national and foreign, reminding the world of the global threat of terrorism.
Senior government representatives from the host governments, family members of victims and survivors participated in the solemn events.
Timed for the tenth anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attack on Monday, the US government has announced a $5 million bounty covering all the terrorists connected with it.
The reward offered under the State Department's Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Programme is for "any individual who committed, conspired to commit, or aided or abetted in the execution" of the attack that killed 166 people, a Department media note said on Sunday.
This is the third RFJ bounty from the State Department on terrorists involved in the Mumbai attack carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as it casts a wider net beyond its leaders.
(With inputs from agencies.)