India ‘not like US’ to mount Abbottabad-style attack: Singh

Published: May 13, 2011
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a news conference in Kabul May 12, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a news conference in Kabul May 12, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS


India is “not like the US” to launch an Abbottabad-like covert operation in Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Thursday.

“India is not like the US,” the visiting Indian prime minister said when asked by a reporter if India would launch a similar operation like the US did to kill Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, May 2.

The prime minister was addressing a joint press conference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

Asked if India would mount a covert operation if it has credible evidence of Indian fugitives living in Pakistan, Singh said he could not answer the question “as strategies of dealing with war on terror are not publicly spoken in press conferences”.

Singh expressed India’s strong support to a plan by Kabul to reconcile with Taliban-led insurgents in a hope to bring an end to the war, New Delhi’s first public backing of the plan.

“India’s development assistance commitment is approximately $1.5 billion, but there are still gaps,” Singh said. “We have made a fresh commitment of $500 million over the next few years.”

“Singh’s visit is just one part of India’s ‘soft touch’ diplomacy towards Afghanistan, which causes jealousy in Pakistan,” said Saeed Naqvi, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation think-tank in New Delhi. “India has pursued better links by building schools, hospitals and roads, while Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan has damaged Islamabad’s reputation.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (56)

  • Shabeeb
    May 12, 2011 - 10:47PM

    you dare it.Recommend

  • Mahmood
    May 12, 2011 - 11:17PM

    India’s performance during the Mumbai massacre is pretty good evidence that they are not capable of effectively handling a small group of terrorist let alone putting together a highly complex covert operation. Yeah – India is not the USA.Recommend

  • Shez
    May 12, 2011 - 11:18PM

    How come India is Afghanistan’s neighbor? Was that a joke? Indians do not share any geographical boundaries let alone religious, linguistic, ethnic, or social ties with Afghanistan. Anyway, good to know that Singh is wise enough to not make false claims. He knows it would be like shooting oneself in the head if India dares striking Pakistan.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    May 12, 2011 - 11:19PM

    Inder Kumar Gulral in a moment of great stupidity decided to put an end to India’s covert abilities in Pakistan. While a US type action is not feasible, targeted assassination of fugitives such as Dawood Ibrahim is always an option. Recommend

  • Cheeko Beeko
    May 12, 2011 - 11:40PM

    India cannot dare to launch Abbotabad like operation in Pakistan.

    Armed forces of Pakistan are fully prepared to meet any kind of Indian adventurism at any time and at any moment. Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    May 12, 2011 - 11:52PM

    These are very mature comments by the Indian Premier .( regardless of the different things that can be assessed from them )

    I think that there has been slight improvement in India’s stance towards Pakistan.

    And I think Pakistan should not be concerned about India’s collaboration with Afghanistan.

    In fact , Pakistan , India & Afghanistan should think up of uniting together in the best possible way to counter western culture and scientific dominance.

    I am sure that the West fears the talent and brilliance shown by these hard working nations.

    The simple key to it all is to out-root corruption , which is the true common denominator.Recommend

  • Babloo
    May 13, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Mr Manmohan Singh should have said that if a country allows cross border atacks by militants, from the territory it controls, like LeT, JeM and so many other militant groups do, then the country loses claims to soverginity over the territory from which such attacks are launched. Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 13, 2011 - 12:03AM

    That is a sensible move by Indian PM as like everyone, who spend some 5+ year time at the top, sees clearly Military Action in close vicinity with both parties having nuke, is not helpful at all.Recommend

  • John
    May 13, 2011 - 12:30AM

    How is bha.Rat a neighbour of Afghanistan, it has credible evidence of bhaRati fugitives living in PakistanRecommend

  • Roflcopter
    May 13, 2011 - 12:43AM

    of course india won’t. they know they would get smoked if they didRecommend

  • Tsen
    May 13, 2011 - 12:49AM

    PM need to learn to keep quite. It is idiotic to show open cards without someone asking for it.Recommend

  • Khalid Javed
    May 13, 2011 - 1:01AM

    We are so grateful for your kindness Mr Singh for not raiding us….. We beg you on our kneels to spare us…. When we have as shameless people as Men in uniform, Men in parliament as we have…. The poor nation can do maximum this survive… Shame on all of you …. The custodians of National Pride… MY Heart aches……….Recommend

  • Ahyan Khan
    May 13, 2011 - 1:11AM

    I welcome this statement from the Indian PM. Wish both our countries live in peace and both hardcore fundamentalist elements like Bal Thakrey and Zaid Hamid go to hell. Live and let live!!! AmeenRecommend

  • Adnan
    May 13, 2011 - 2:06AM

    Like if they do,their country would survive. Recommend

  • Khurram
    May 13, 2011 - 2:07AM

    Mr. Singh is one of the few SANE VOICES in the region and I as a well wisher of my beloved country (Pakistan) would like to place much faith in his words than in any other politician. I am quite sure, he is genuinely seeking for a permanent peace and strong cooperation between all the neighbors of South Asia more so between Pakistan and India.Recommend

  • Thinking
    May 13, 2011 - 2:30AM

    It’s amazing to see how differently Afghanis feel towards Indians and Pakistanis. They view Indians as friends who want to be investors and reap the benefits of a free and peaceful Afghanistan while they view Pakistanis as quite the opposite. I guess history has taught them that the Pakistani government is not a reliable ally or partner in anything.Recommend

  • May 13, 2011 - 2:59AM

    I think it is a responsible statement and it will definitely stop all the insane voices rising from India, as it will only result in another deadly rift b/w the two countries, where the need is to have peace and prosperity for the region and the people on both sides.Recommend

  • May 13, 2011 - 3:02AM

    Responsible statement – The region cannot afford another War we want peace and prosperity for people on both sides and the region.Recommend

  • ani
    May 13, 2011 - 3:18AM

    India will not launch Abbottabad-like operation in Pakistan because it cannot. Indians like to poke Pakistan at every turn and the latter takes the bait everytime. The result: a sling fest of anger that far exceeds any real abilities that either side has.

    India does not have the political will, military capabilties and diplomatic cover to carry out any such raid as the one by the US. So Pakistani friends please rest up. Next time Indian media and their COAS make such statements just sit back and say: “do it”. Watch how quickly they fade into silence. Remember those who can, do. They don’t bray. PM Singh is not one of them – he is a realist who knows the limits of his country. Recommend

  • Alia Amir
    May 13, 2011 - 3:27AM

    Thanks Manmohan ji!Recommend

  • Tahir
    May 13, 2011 - 4:04AM

    Why would they? They know they will get nuked out.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    May 13, 2011 - 4:27AM

    @Sehrish Khan: “Responsible statement – The region cannot afford another War we want peace and prosperity for people on both sides and the region.”

    You are describing China’s nightmare scenario – India, Pakistan and Afghanistan being friends. Recommend

  • Modasar Khan
    May 13, 2011 - 4:36AM

    Seriously i wanna see if indians have dare to do that cuz we Pakistan has a history of FIRST INVADING india in all wars lol. We are the champs. Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Indian USA
    May 13, 2011 - 4:45AM

    Good statement by Indian PM..One can not expect peace with some one while pointing gun at him. Indian media should be careful in the race for TRP.

    If terror camps in AZK are closed.. and Pakistan is serious about militancy creating havoc inside India. Then there could be good friendship which is mutually benefit.Recommend

  • Liberty
    May 13, 2011 - 5:32AM

    I am not at all for any kind of military action against Pakistan but India must try to get those wanted terrorists living inside Pakistan. Certainly as long as Dawood Ibrahim and 26/11 handlers enjoy good life in Pakistan, India should not talk to Pakistan officially(can continue back channels). This is another matter that once India get those ppl(if ever), there is no proper way to handle these people. Probably that is one reason India is not forcefully(like US) asking Pakistan to hand over those terrorists…and in turn there is no good relation between India and Pakistan. Of course Pakistanis will say no good term as long as Kashmir is not part of PakistanRecommend

  • bubbles
    May 13, 2011 - 5:34AM

    Apparently, Rahul Gandhi sometime back said, ‘India is too developed compared to Pakistan, so PIndians should stop thinking about Pakistan.’ Both the armies, intelligence agencies and some vested interests in the world are trying to strike a wedge between Pakistan and India. This is hampering development in the region. If we stop worrying too much about each other and look inwards, it would benefit both the countries.Recommend

  • Urza Dawood
    May 13, 2011 - 6:18AM

    India can now launch Abbottabad-like operation in Pakistan because it can. India is too busy to play with the little guys as it is an evolving world economic power to waste time with Pakistan with a failing economy and a confused population. The result: India takes a place on the world stage of a growing democratic economy and the major players are more interested in investing and are taking a number to get their companies into India to setup shop and employ an educated workforce.

    India does have the political will, a strong buffed military high -tech capabilities and complete support for a diplomatic cover to carry out any such raid as the one by the US. But why bother with the small fry, they are sitting back and watching Pakistani embarrassment at an all time high the confusion and denial is worthy of a reality show itself. The world is now aware that a foreign entity can enter Pakistan carry out a covert operation in a specialized military zone and ALL Pakistani are busy watching pirated Bollywood films!Recommend

  • Serge Eisemann
    May 13, 2011 - 6:30AM


    There are many legal issues regarding “cross border attacks”. Rhetoric, like yours, on a weblog is different from realities of law. First off what constitute “cross border attacks”. Which of of these will be considered a “cross border attack”. Some hypothetical scenarios: A US Citizen entering another country legally and killing (say) 10 people and leave that country. Or, Glen Beck asking another US Citizen (USC) to take out a couple of “Pakis” for their crime of harboring OBL and the other travel to Pakistan and did kill many Pakistanis.A US Citizen on vacation in Malaysia kill three women in traditional Muslim headscarves. Are all these “cross border raids”? Please do not give that BS: ” Oh everyone knows what that is”

    Even US’s adventure that culminated in murdering OBL in Pakistan without any authorization has serious legal complications and the matter will get worse. No wonder US is trying hard to convene the world that OBL Compound in Abbotabad is a “command and control center” and OBL was actively involved in Al-Qaida operations to retroactively justify US’ unilateral and presumably legal.

    Rhetoric like yours might get raw raw cheers in KKK, BJP, NeoNazi rallies but it has no place in international law.Recommend

  • pappufromindia
    May 13, 2011 - 7:13AM

    well …dawood..hafiz.etc…relax now and have a sound sleep.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    May 13, 2011 - 7:39AM

    Fools who are daring India must know what happened to Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 wars in spite of US and Chinese material and moral support for Pakistan.Read the independent archives of these wars on internet.And as for nuclear weapons are concern if pakis have 100 India has 90 but only 4 or 5 nuclear bombs are enough to wipe out pakistan Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 13, 2011 - 8:24AM

    Thanks Mr. PM. Now Pakistan army can sleep even better without any concern. With the history of your army surrendering to the brave Pakistanis several times and the actions we took against the OBL operation, you would not dare do that anyway. HahahahahaRecommend

  • akash
    May 13, 2011 - 9:07AM

    @Ani, we have shown our capabilities in past mate.. so dont be too upbeat..

    its just that India has its sight on bigger things like economy. sometimes the rivalries.. or war does not happen open in middle.. If india has a strong economy i think war is half won without shedding blood. Perhaps you wont get it.
    Most importantly there are people in pakistan.. esp military and ISI who are hell bent upon destroying your country and its image.. they are already doing the damage.. and with full support of people behind them. :-)
    Blaming US for everything is not going to help either.. if only you guys have/had courage and cleaned up your mess.. drones would not have been flying today

    I think its high time now pakistan looks inwards and do some serious course correction if it has to grow and move ahead.. ghairat.. and bravado are only but words.Recommend

  • s. ali
    May 13, 2011 - 9:53AM

    It is a good will gesture by PM. Hope our politicians wud understand who is our friend…USA or India.Recommend

    May 13, 2011 - 9:58AM

    @John….just as Paki.SATAN is a neighbor of China.had there been no Abt’bad,you shameless creatures were not going to accept even OBLs presence in Paki.SATAN.Recommend

  • Mr. Bahri
    May 13, 2011 - 10:09AM

    @ani: Boss before pointing fingers at my Country’s premier.. look at your Country’s premier… If we want we can throw off Pakistan in one day and you would not be able to hold back for long.. And your so called friend China.. would not even interfere in it.. I hope you know that dude.. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 13, 2011 - 10:19AM


    and since when the territory of Jammu and Kashmir became part of India? LeT and all other groups are fighting for their freedom from India and Pakistan has nothing to do with it… maybe one day india will whine about Naxalites that they too being recruited by pakistan…Recommend

  • D. Powers
    May 13, 2011 - 11:05AM

    Why is India investing hard earning Foreign Exchange in Afghanistan and getting cozy with the corrupt government of Karzai which commands roughly 17 sqkm in Kabul? The end game is near and Taliban will definitely be a part of the Government where Karzai will not be tolerated. Indian investment will be lost. The best thing is that India and Pakistan try to get together and come up with joint strategy towards Afghanistan. If this dream comes true, this part of the world would be next power house of the world. Recommend

  • chandran
    May 13, 2011 - 11:37AM

    we Indians we also hate USA presents in our regionRecommend

  • Imran
    May 13, 2011 - 11:59AM

    Why do we need to raise Nuke attacks! this the worst kind of image one could have, politicians and Army chiefs will always be at safe distance but the poor people will be killed for nothing.

    Grow UP morons … there are better ways to resolve if you look for it… unfortunately for Pakistan its politicians have already sold their souls to the devil and the citizens are too dumb to understand.Recommend

  • Rakib
    May 13, 2011 - 12:05PM

    @D. Powers:

    IMO,India is not investing any “hard earned foreign exchange” in Afghanistan. However,it is standard international practice to denote the sums involved in Dollars,that’s all. Indian roads and building contractors along with their Afghan partners do what they are supposed to do at an agreed charge and New Delhi settles the bills. India does not provide aid (except in natural calamity) on a no-question-asked basis. It provides Indian made goods and services free or at subsidised cost.

    I don’t think Indian investment will go down the drain. However, unreasonable expectations of fancy returns as per individual beliefs might fail.Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    May 13, 2011 - 12:17PM

    Indian Leadership is way more mature and their diplomacy much more established than what has been referred by some of their zealots writing comments here. The comments on this site in any case has been framed by intelligence agencies who wants to spread despair and disinformation.
    Pakistan is in the eye of the storm. Its hands are full. Its resources are spread and thinned out and in such a condition any country would commit and repeat mistakes. Today Pakistan is target of terrorists and scores die every day. On the other hand it is so heart breaking to be tied with the terrorists. Recommend

  • saleem
    May 13, 2011 - 1:07PM

    wait till the time Maldives or Bhutan say some thing about itRecommend

  • amaan
    May 13, 2011 - 1:35PM

    his comments comes because of the fact is that there will some difference between the actions of peoples with some responsibilities, some commitments and and the peoples those hav nothing to lose. thats what u need to know,. so dont try underestimate india’s military, economic capabilities,Recommend

  • sumeet
    May 13, 2011 - 1:54PM

    mr prime minister,whatever you said,but sadly many of your own govt people dont share your view,so rather than showing the world how weak you and your govt are,please keep quiet.
    @modassar khan,too childish are the champs?really??may be you are right according to your pakistani text full marks.may you live in ignorance for eternity.Recommend

  • Thinker
    May 13, 2011 - 11:07PM

    A lot of people go “DARE IT”. Its not a question of dare. One willing man with a gun is capable of yielding enough damage to any institution, and we are talking about a nation far more powerful in terms of conventional, economic, diplomatic and nuclear power, which issues a responsible statement. Its a question of putting rumours to rest. Its a question of relaxing the heightened tensions.

    The people who are saying dare it, in the above replies will not have a good answer to any of the misadventures that daily take place on the Pakistani soils by the United States, by militants or other ‘stateless actors’. United States got away with ground ops, drone attacks, undercover agents, special ops… and none of the chest-thumpers above or their military could do anything.

    Ignorance is a bliss, until you get hit square between the eyes.Recommend

  • Thinker
    May 13, 2011 - 11:50PM

    and since when the territory of Jammu and Kashmir became part of India? LeT and all other groups are fighting for their freedom from India and Pakistan has nothing to do with it… maybe one day india will whine about Naxalites that they too being recruited by pakistan…

    This is a comment by an average Pakistani in response to a statement that India wont attack you. Just goes on to tell us the dangerous mentality this country thrives on. Recommend

  • ghairatmand
    May 13, 2011 - 11:51PM

    @Pakistani: There had been many freedom fights in India and Pakistan. Where in history killing innocent with guns and suicide bombings constituted as an act of freedom fight. Please dont patronize and encourage groups like LeT and likes who are simply just terrorist harping on social agenda. It is because of them that Indian Army has reason to be in Kashmir. And history is witness that with military presence civilians suffer. If LeT and like scan be controlled or best eliminated, it would diffuse quite a huge load of tension between India and Pakistan. You see the results in supporting terrorists in your country dont you. Just today they killed 70. So no matter who ever supports them for whatever cause, is the barbaric act justified? So STOP SUPPORTING OR ENCOURAGING TERRORISTS. Actual problem between India and Pakistan is not the one of Hindu and Muslim, it is because of the difference in ideology and mindset. Recommend

  • ani
    May 14, 2011 - 1:13AM

    For those who think India can launch Abbotabad type operations against Pakistan and get away with it like the US, please educate everyone. Just exactly what are the military capabilities of India in this regard? Also, since 1995 more than 30,000 citizens and paramilitary forces have died at the hand of terrorists in India. Yet, India only complained. Some high profile and brazen attacks on its national symbols: Parliament and Mumbai resulted in a lot of flexing but nothing else. The Indian Army reportedly told the leadership that it was not prepared to deal with Pakistan even after the murderous 2008 Mumbai attack. Well since then, just what exactly has India added to its arsenal that it can carry out attacks like my Indian friends claim? Retd General Afsir Karim (Indian Army) along with other serious commentators have laid bare the ‘feel good’ chest thumping of the Army chief. These are people with knowledge of military science and India’s capabilities.

    And just what has changed in Pakistan that it won’t retaliate right after India does an Abbottabad? Pakistan will. Nothing unites Pakistanis like India no matter the cost. So I am sure India is prepared for that too.

    Let us get real before we get all hyper with false pride. Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    May 14, 2011 - 1:45AM


    Dear Pakistani Muslim brothers and sisters , and even the non-Muslim ones.

    Its not good to dare or challenge or assess anyone as weak or strong.

    It is a very well acknowledged Hadith of our Prophet SAWW which states that the true champion/strong-man is the one who controls himself(herself) when in anger , rather than the one who expresses it ( in the slightest or largest form).

    Now if not from being a Pakistani point of view , atleast being Muslims ( and Muslims trying to become TRUE Muslims ) , we should not taunt or mock or ridicule anyone.

    If we keep arguing , teasing , damning , alleging then it wont take us any where.


  • Thinker
    May 14, 2011 - 1:46AM

    Retd General Afsir Karim (Indian Army) along with other serious commentators have laid bare the ‘feel good’ chest thumping of the Army chief.

    I am not sure if the Indian General made such comments. Are the other experts people like Zaid Hamid?

    Nothing unites Pakistanis like India no matter the cost. So I am sure India is prepared for that too.

    I am sure its the same with India. Besides, India has a track record of winning these wars.

    Well since then, just what exactly has India added to its arsenal that it can carry out attacks like my Indian friends claim?

    A solid economy, Diplomatic backing, Infrastructure growth, Civilian led government, amongst others.Recommend

  • Jerry
    May 14, 2011 - 1:50AM

    India Don’t have to raise its finger towards pakistan ,Pakistan is busy in digging its own Grave. Let us not go GUNG HO. Your so called Army and Taliban will do better job then India.
    India can only sidestep and watch Finale.Recommend

    May 14, 2011 - 11:53PM

    Pakistan politicians should commend the Indian PM’s statement who has shown a lot of maturity by not taking any advantage of the uneasy situation in Pakistan. Kayani and ISI may be quite disappointed because they can no longer play the India card to come out of the difficult situation which is of their own making. Recommend

  • Nobody
    May 15, 2011 - 2:43AM

    @Urza Dawood:
    India does have the political will, a strong buffed military high -tech capabilities and complete support for a diplomatic cover to carry out any such raid as the one by the US.

    a) I beg to differ, as to your own officials apparently. According to your officials, India does not have the capability to do so, as it is not, nor anywhere near, the US in terms of anything really. But your cute little fairy tale fantasy is endearing. ;)

    But why bother with the small fry

    b) Is that what you’ll say to the families of the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks? How sweet, sensitive, and empathetic of you. As another Indian on this newspaper acknowledged (and rightly so apparently), some Indians are quick to dismiss Pakistan as a “small fry,” but if I were you, I wouldn’t be so quick to do so; unstable or not, nukes are nukes, and while I personally would never WANT things to escalate because I am not a fan of war between any nations, doesn’t mean Pak-India officials will feel the same way. Why poke an already lightly sleeping bear and give relief to itchy trigger fingers? As if the relationship between the two countries isn’t shi**y enough already. Even considering [infantile] ideas such as this one show the irresponsibility, immaturity, naivete`, and frankly, OVERconfidence ,of some Indian officials. Evidently, a stance such as yours does not an intelligent, realistic, or compassionate person make. Recommend

  • Well wisher
    May 16, 2011 - 7:58AM

    @Asif Butt:
    Hi Asif, You really gave good statements here. India wouldn’t do such type of action against pakistan, that is because India has focused on the growth. Yet India has the largest army, but that is for the peace process and protect the nation, not to destroy the neighbours or harm the neighbours. If Pakistan learns the strategy of India’s growth, I am sure, talented pakistani citizens can shine their talent in the world too. Pakistan needs to grow with the co-operations. Citizens shouldn’t forget that once they were part of the one nation. Our thoughts might be different but shouldn’t be against.
    Yet 2008 attack by Pakistani terrorists, India took as a thorn on their path, they removed it and forgot about it, instead try to find about who put that thorn and tried to distroy the person who planted it. People shouldn’t think that as weakness of India but should consider as the decision of the stronger nation. It requires lots of courage to forgive, and that comes from the stronger ability.Recommend

  • Deepak Shah
    May 23, 2011 - 5:16AM


    Afghanistan is our neighbor, We consider J&K as Indian territory. and everywhere in Political and diplomatic relations, we do term Af as our neighbour, currently our Armed Forces man LOC’s they are not International Borders.

    And next thing, Only Pakistani Armed forces think that we want to use force, first we want to take out every Indian out of poverty, develop India, Territorial disputes can be resolved through Talks. (provided if someone really believes in peace) Recommend

  • Deepak Shah
    May 23, 2011 - 5:18AM

    @Cheeko Beeko:

    Oh really, you don’t even know to what magnitude your own rulers lie, atleast stop justifying them.Recommend

More in World