Fragile Pakistan uses terror as state policy: India tells US

Fragile Pakistan uses terror as state policy: India tells US

Sounding an alarm over the growing terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan, Chidambaram, said: "The vast infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan has for long flourished as an instrument of state policy."

The home minister was speaking ahead of his talks with his American counterpart Janet Napolitano, who arrived in India Tuesday for talks here to strengthen anti-terror ties between the two countries.  This is the first internal security dialogue between India and the US.

The home minister said Pakistan was the "global epicenter of terrorism". "Its economy has weakened and the state structure in Pakistan has become fragile. Today, Pakistan itself faces a major threat from the same forces. Its people as well as its state institutions are under attack."

He said different terrorist groups, "operating from the safe havens in Pakistan", have left that country increasingly radicalised, leaving Indian "in perhaps the most difficult neighbourhood in the world".

The home minister's remarks come amid a spate of terror attacks in Pakistan following the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden who was living in a house near a top military academy in Abbotabad garrison town of that country.

Napolitano's visit to India, a first by a top US official after President Barack Obama's November 2010 trip, comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Pakistan in the aftermath of the May 2 killing of Osama.

Chidambaram said the homeland security dialogue "is an important milestone in India-US relations and adds a very important dimension to the growing strategic partnership between our two countries".

The home minister said India was battling terrorist infiltration and fake currency inflow that "do not only take place through our western border, but is often routed through countries that we share open borders with".

"We also have to deal with the challenge of large scale migrations from across our borders. Insurgent groups have sometimes found refuge in our neighbouring countries.

Internal instability in our neighbouring countries has a direct bearing on the population in our border states," he said.

He, however, added that India's "comprehensive neighbourhood strategy is based on political engagement, especially with Pakistan".

India, he said, "supports political stability; assistance for economic development and improved connectivity and market access for our neighbours to the Indian economy".

"A stable, peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood is vital for the security of the people of India," he added.