Indian PM calls for calm after deadly Hyderabad blasts

Updated 24 February 2013

Indian PM calls for calm after deadly Hyderabad blasts

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday appealed for calm as he flew to Hyderabad and visited some of the 117 people wounded in twin bombings last week, which killed 16 people.
Singh also visited the blast site in Dilsukh Nagar, where two bicycle bombs exploded within a few minutes of each other outside a cinema and near a bus stand on Thursday evening.
The prime minister met with some of the blast survivors and medical staff in two city hospitals and expressed his condolences.
“It is most important that in this hour of grief the people should maintain calm,” he said.
“I am happy that the people of Hyderabad have refused to be provoked by this nefarious incident,” the prime minister told reporters.
“I pray for the speedy recovery of those who have been injured, to those who have died I send my condolences to all the bereaved families,” Singh added.
His spokesman Pankaj Pachauri told Singh was scheduled to be briefed by N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, chief minister of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, on the incident.
Hyderabad, one of the major hubs of India’s booming software industry, is the capital of coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The premier has vowed to bring to justice the perpetrators of what he called a “dastardly” attack, the first major bombings in India since 2011.
His Congress Party-led government was criticized in Parliament on Friday by the opposition, which said the bombings had exposed systemic security failures at a time when India is on heightened alert.
India’s main opposition BJP party mocked the premier’s one-day trip to Hyderabad saying the blasts were a result of the Indian government’s failure to tackle terrorism.
“The prime minister’s visit to Hyderabad is a non-event,” BJP leader Balbir Punj told reporters in New Delhi.
“In fact, if he and his government had been sensitive to the issue of terrorism in this country... this attack would not have taken place,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy has said investigators have found “vital clues” but gave no details.
Newspapers have pointed the finger at the Indian Mujahideen, a banned militant outfit, which has claimed responsibility for previous attacks.
The fitting of the explosive devices to bicycles was similar to other attacks by the outfit, local media reports quoted investigators as saying.
The homegrown group has links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant outfit blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that claimed 166 lives, according to Indian intelligence officials.
New Delhi has long accused its neighbor of aiding and abetting the militant groups who have carried out attacks on Indian soil — a charge that Pakistan rejects.

Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

Updated 26 April 2018

Pakistan eliminated terrorism with monumental cost — Defense Minister

  • Beijing hosted the first SCO Defense Ministers meeting after the organization was expanded in 2017 and added India and Pakistan as full members
  • He said that presence of Daesh in Afghanistan is a source of insecurity for its neighbors

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Defense Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan has eliminated terrorism from its soil at a monumental cost — in the in blood of soldiers and citizens.
The minister made his remarks at the 15th Defense Ministers Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing.
He added that Pakistan had adopted a comprehensive national action plan to combat terrorism: “We have suffered economic losses in excess of US $120 billion (Rs 13,920 billion) in our war against terror,” he added.
It was the first assembly of SCO Defense Ministers since the organization expanded in 2017, adding India and Pakistan as full members.

Khan said the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan, including presence of ISIS (Daesh), was a source of insecurity for its neighbors and the entire region.

“Serious challenges facing the region include violent extremism, poverty, lack of trans-boundary water management, drug trafficking, refugees, human trafficking and border controls,” the minister said.

Khan acknowledged the existence of bilateral issues between SCO members, but asserted that these should “never be allowed to impede our collective work.” He encouraged his counterparts to face collective challenges with “courage, harmony and cooperation.”

The minister signed a communiqué with other participants offering support for the “Shanghai Spirit” of building a shared community with peace and stability, development and prosperity.

Defense ministers from the SCO member states including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India attended the meeting. The defense minister of Belarus attended as an observer.