Sound Bytes: World Condemns Lahore Attack

While leading global condemnations against the dastardly attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday expressed deep concerns over the situation in Pakistan and said the country’s frontier regions were still a safe heave for terrorists.

“Obviously, we are deeply concerned,” Obama told reporters in the White House after meeting with visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

“Both Great Britain and the United States share a deep interest in ensuring that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan are safe havens for terrorist activity,” said Obama.

“The truth is that the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated, the safe havens for al-Qaeda remain in the frontier regions of Pakistan and we are conducting currently a comprehensive review of our policies,” he iterated.

The US State Department too condemned the attack and termed it an assault on peaceful, normal relations.

“We condemn this vicious attack on innocent civilians but also on the positive relations that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are trying to enjoy,” said deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid.

“This is an attack on peaceful, normal relations, and we utterly condemn this terrorist attack,” he added.

The Uinted Kingdom condemned the gun and grenade attack on the cricketers and termed it as “shocking and senseless” and a “grim day for sport”.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, said the shooting was a “grotesque violation” of the peaceful purpose of the sport.

International Cricket Council president David Morgan said it would be “very difficult for international cricket to be hosted in Pakistan for quite some time to come”.

With the attacks putting the plight and lack of control of his government in militant hit Pakistan,

In India, the attack has invited strong condemnations from across the country’s political spectrum.

Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee said: “I request the Pakistani authorities not to divert the attention of the international community, but to take courage in both hands and dismantle the terrorism infrastructure and take stiff measures against the perpetrators. Only then will such issues be adequately addressed,” foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

“The terrorism infrastructure facilities available in Pakistan must be completely dismantled and the perpetrators (of the attacks) brought to justice, otherwise perpetration of these types of incidents will take place,” he added.

Mukherjee added: “Terrorism is taking place in different parts of the world. Terrorism is the biggest menace in the post-World War II era and should be tackled,” he said.

An official spokesperson said: “We are shocked at the audacious attack. Terrorism based in Pakistan is a grave threat to the entire world. It is in Pakistan’s own interest to take prompt, meaningful and decisive steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure once and for all.”

Home Minister P. Chidambaram said: “We condemn the incident. We are sorry for the Sri Lankan team. We hope that players are safe and will recover.”

While rubbishing claims of Indian involvement expressed by the Pakistani side, he asserted that India had nothing to do with it. Till the infrastructure and facilities available to terrorists in Pakistan were dismantled, this could happen again, he added.

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said the attack “underscores the enormity of the threat” posed by terror in Pakistan.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the heinous attack highlighted the grave security situation in Pakistan and the extent to which terrorist activities had grown there.

Echoing similar views, the CPI said: “We appeal to them (Pakistan) to bring pressure to eliminate terrorism and join the secular-democratic forces of the subcontinent to root out this menace forever,” the party said.

The Congress party condemned the attack and asserted that Pakistan was not just a failed state but was fast becoming the Somalia of South Asia.

Talking to journalists, party spokesman Manish Tewari said the attack brought back memories of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Israeli athletes were gunned down at the games village.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said the attack was an indication of the “ugly reality” of Pakistan as the epicentre of terror.

Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad noted that those who promoted terrorism as an instrument of state policy were now facing the fallout of that policy. “Yet, we see no change in the mindset in Islamabad,” Prasad added.

While condemning the attack, Prasad noted that terrorists had not targeted sportsmen for decades and the last time it happened was at the Munich Olympics.

Terming the attack the worst security failure in his country, former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan said: “The Pakistan government guaranteed the Sri Lankan cricket team that they would provide them security, and to see the type of security provided to the Sri Lankan cricket team was completely shameful.”

Reacting to the development Indian skipper, MS Dhoni said “I am glad we are out here in New Zealand right now and not there.”

“I am glad we didn’t tour Pakistan. Or to be more precise, happy that the government didn’t allow us to tour,” he added.

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