The recent inopportune and highly provocative statement made by the Indian Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, at a function in New Delhi that terrorists should be used to ‘neutralise terrorists’ left everyone aghast. Pakistan’s reaction to the irresponsible demeanour of a person, of no less than the stature of the Indian Defence Minister, naturally was that of shock. The statement has, in fact, sent a wave of anger among the ranks that matter.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz did not waste a second in responding to Indian Defence Minister’ statement. He expressed Pakistan’s immediate concern over the issue and stated that the comments merely confirmed Pakistan’s apprehensions that India has been involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Pakistan has been voicing its concerns over Indian intelligence agency involvement in terrorist activities for long. Pakistan’s assertions in this regard gained strength by the recent spate of statements from senior Indian civilian and military officials, accusing RAW of involvement in a number of terror attacks in Pakistan.

Our Defence Minister, responding to his counterpart’s comments, fully endorsed Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz’s statement about India’ admission of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. This is indeed what the remarks seem to suggest. In order to ensure damage control it would be wise on the part of the Indian government to promptly clarify the situation. It would also be in the interest both the countries to curtail such outburst of allegations and counter allegations.

M. FAZAL ELAHI,

Islamabad, June 3.