India is interested in fighting terrorism, not Pakistan, Home Minister L.K. Advani said Sunday, calling on Islamabad to move against extremist groups operating from its soil.
"Our real fight is not with Pakistan but with terrorism and those who support it," Advani said on state-run television.
As India continued to move troops to the western border with its perennial rival, Advani said the threat of their dispute escalating beyond diplomatic sanctions to armed conflict was dependent on Pakistan's willingness to clamp down on extremist groups.
"So far, steps have been taken at the diplomatic level only ... Any step at the non-diplomatic level can be taken only because our neighbour continues to support terrorism," Advani said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have soared since a bloody December 13 assault on India's parliament, which New Delhi accuses Pakistan's military intelligence of masterminding. Islamabad denies the allegation.
"Even today it can give a firm assurance to us and the world community that it will stop aiding and abetting terrorism," Advani said, while describing the measures already announced by Pakistan as "a joke".
(China Daily December 30, 2001)