India warns against non-state actors

India warns against non-state actors

Making an obvious refere­nce to Pakistan’s purported policy of tacitly supporting terrori­st groups based in that co­untry, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said that the non-state actors were acting for the states in the neighbourhood of India.

“Today, where do you draw the distinction in the whole spectrum of this conflict, in terrorism, state sponsored terrorism? The so called non-state actors perform state functions. And they act for states,” he said, chairing a session in a conference on international relations organised by the Public Diplomacy division of the Ministry of External Affairs. “I say this from the experience of my job…..We see it immediately in our own neighbourhood," said Menon. He, however, did not directly refer to Pakistan.

The Pakistani government had denied the role of the ISI or its other agencies in the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and had rather blamed the non-state actors for the carnage that had left 174 slain and many others injured. The revelations by the incarcerated Pakistan-American terror-plotter David Coleman Headley during interrogations by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and India’s National Investigation Agency in Chicago however confirmed terrorist organisations’ links with the official establishment and intelligence agencies of Pakistan.

The NSA’s remark on the link between states and non-state actors in the region came just a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated Washington’s readiness to work with Islamabad to explore possibilities for negotiations with Haqqani Network and Taliban groups based in Pakistan, along the country’s border with Afghanistan.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said that the Haqqani Network had enjoyed the support and protection of Islamabad.

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