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World leaders stand with PM

St Petersburg, July 17: If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was looking for international backing for fighting terrorism against India directed from across its border and isolating its promoters, he got it in unambiguous and comprehensive terms today.

The leaders of world’s wealthiest countries ' the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan ' and the European Union meeting here for their annual summit did not limit themselves to merely deploring the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. They also demanded action against the entire terrorism chain with its backward and forward links.

The G8 statement in India’s support was significant on two major counts. First, it expressed solidarity with India and readiness “to undertake all necessary measures to bring to justice perpetrators, organisers, sponsors of these and other terrorist acts, and those who incited the perpetrators to commit them”.

The distinction made between perpetrators (individual terrorists), organisers (the organisations they belong to), sponsors (say, for example, the intelligence agency of a neighbouring country) and those who incite terrorism (the neighbouring country itself) 'covers all aspects of the “infrastructure of terrorism” that India has been asking Pakistan to dismantle.

Two, the statement was joined by several others, including China. The G8 resolution on Mumbai blasts was signed by Brazil, China, Mexico, South Africa, the heads of Central Asian countries, the African Union and the heads of international organisations, including UN secretary-general Kofi Annan demanding that those responsible for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and other parts of India be brought to justice.

This is as wide as the support India could get ' covering the continents of Asia, the Americas and Europe.

The Prime Minister had said before reaching here that he wanted the world to stand united with India to deal with terrorism. And he was not disappointed.

The world leaders gathered here did not for a moment demur in issuing a clear statement on the Mumbai blasts after their meeting today.

They felt that terrorism had to be fought “by all legitimate means” and claimed readiness to do so “in accordance with our obligations under international law”.

What the world leaders said was also consonance with the G8 resolution on counter-terrorism. The resolution, issued separately, categorically denounced terrorist attacks worldwide and condemned in the strongest terms “those who perpetrate these atrocities”.

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