Ahead of India visit: Terrorist ‘safe havens’ in Pakistan unacceptable, says Obama

Published: January 23, 2015
A file photo of President Barack Obama. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of President Barack Obama. PHOTO: AFP

US President Barack Obama has said terrorist “safe havens” in Pakistan are unacceptable, The Hindu reported on Friday ahead of a crucial visit to India. 

In an interview to India Today magazine which has been published in the upcoming issue of the weekly, the US president also said those behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks should be brought to justice

“I have made it clear that even as the US works with Pakistan to meet the threat of terrorism, safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable,” Obama said.

The US president, who will begin his three-day visit to India this Sunday, said the US has been relentless in its fight against terror.

“We have deepened our cooperation against terrorism, and we work together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons,” he said.

Obama also said people world over were horrified by the devastating attack on over 130 children in Peshawar, an attack that had paralysed Pakistan.

Of the attack, he said it was a “painful reminder that terrorists threaten us all.”

The Nawaz-led government decided on January 15 to ban the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is led by Hafiz Saeed, who incidentally has been linked to being the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack.

“As President, I have made sure that the US has been unrelenting in its fight against terrorist groups — a fight in which Indians and Americans are united,” the US president said.

Obama said both terror attacks on September 11 and the Mumbai attacks included victims of India and the US.

“On my previous visit to India, my first stop was the memorial at the Taj Hotel to pay my respects to the victims, meet with survivors and send a strong message to the Indian people that we stand together in defence of our security and our way of life,” he added.

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Reader Comments (67)

  • Hamid Niazi
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:33PM

    When will we learn, they will never be satisfied us!
    Even if you killed ourselves, they wouls still say “…Pakistan do more…”

    We should stop trying to please them!


  • Char Latan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:35PM

    I guess all that “pressing” that Sartaj Aziz did was for nothing. He should have pressed harder or found a younger man to do that for him.


  • Jan 23, 2015 - 5:36PM

    We also want you to apprehend and destroy the organization behind the terrorists who used nuclear bombs on innocnet citizens.


  • Stranger
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:41PM

    Uncle Sam please pull yourself out of the region of mid east and all will be well.


  • Ranveer Singh Warraich
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:41PM

    @Hamid Niazi: That is a choice you have to make! Remember it was Pakistan that chose to knock on America’s door starting in the late 1940s, and that trend has continued. It was Pakistan that decided to join America’s war on terror. You made the choices, and now you have to live with them.


  • Caresless Whispers
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:43PM

    I stopped reading as soon as i reached ” The Hindu ” reported….


  • Rashid
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:44PM

    The news title reflects badly on us. Nobody believes us. For a change we may do what we claim to do. Otherwise we will be considered liars in the international community.


  • pak patriot
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:45PM

    And those behind 16 December massacre should be facilitated in Afghanistan with indian currency and weapons.


  • armughan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:50PM

    The day we start valueing our own people, give them security and have courage to put people like maulana abdul aziz behind bars, only then can we expect ourselves to be valued by others. Basic tenant for mutual respect.


  • Saleem
    Jan 23, 2015 - 5:52PM

    Mr. President, what about Indian support for terrorism in its neighboring country? You should have condemn it in the same breath.


  • Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:12PM

    @Hamid Niazi:

    Its a sales pitch for trade and weapons transactions in India.

    No big deal.


  • Pashtun
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:15PM

    Indian backed terrorists sheltered in Afghanistan have murdered 60,000 Pakistanis.

    But there are no major arms deals to do in Pakistan I guess!


  • citizen26
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:24PM

    Agreed president. What about terrorists that are supported by India in Pakistan?


  • Usman
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:32PM

    The Hindu reported and The Express Tribune quoted. Oh, when will we learn not to ape Indian media.


  • Imran Bannuali
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:43PM

    Its high time we learn from our mistakes. Hafeez Saeed is a terrorist no matter how much we deny.


  • Someone
    Jan 23, 2015 - 6:46PM

    Am I the only person who misses George Bush??


    Jan 23, 2015 - 7:08PM

    I wish Mr. President Obama,
    “On your second visit to India, you may have last stop at the Army Public School Peshawar to pay your respects to the victims, to meet with survivors and send a strong message to the Pakistani people that you stand with Pakistani children in war against terrorism.”


  • Pakistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 7:09PM

    @Ranveer Singh Warraich:
    That is a choice now you are making! Remember it was India that chose to knock on USSR’s and Israel’s door starting in the late 1940s, and that trend has continued. Now you made the choice to live with USA and USA is facilitating India because of China. If they are not satisfy with you also then………….???????

    You can not change your neighbours, if both countries spend their budget on the peoples, they can achieve which they want to.
    If not then face the music….


  • Appan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 7:24PM

    Pakistan Banned a JuD etc. You will always find such organisations emerging with different names!! You allow Hafeez Saeed, Dawoood etc to move freely.YOu denied presence of Bin Laden. You keep denying all the time. Will International community believe you? Need of hour is to take sincere efforts to build credibility


  • Whiskey Khan
    Jan 23, 2015 - 8:24PM

    @ Hamid Niazi,

    Sir We really don’t need to please anybody we don’t want, What we need to do is to get rid of terrorism, Fanatics, corruption, Killings, setup law and order, eliminate terrorist etc. once we have done all this, Nobody will ask you to please them. How long will it take you to understand this basic concept.


  • eLLO
    Jan 23, 2015 - 8:45PM

    US President Barack Obama has said terrorist “safe havens” in Pakistan are unacceptable, The Hindu reported on Friday ahead of a crucial visit to India.

    The Hindu reported ???
    The Hindu ???

    WOW !


  • PAkistani
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:16PM

    No one cares,you only have a year and a half left in office


  • Sun Tzu
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:20PM

    @Caresless Whispers:
    Don’t be mislead by name. “Hindu” is quite a leftist / liberal paper !!


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:33PM

    The Pakistani nation believe that it was Pakistan’s fault to fight US war on terror in Pakistan as General Musharraf made a wrong decision which in his personal opinion was right, but the fact was that General Musharraf extended his hand to fight US war on terror to prolong his tenure and to remain Head of the State for an indefinite period of time.

    Pakistani nation also believe and fully understand that India is a deadly enemy of Pakistan since Pakistan’s independence and creation and will remain enemy for ever, no matter what may come ahead.

    Neither US can be a friend of Pakistan, nor India. Both of the countries support each other as both of them are non-Muslim countries, whereas Pakistan is a Muslim country.

    The Pakistani nation would also like to say a big thanks to US President Obama for NOT visiting Pakistan, as his visit will add to the miseries of Pakistanis and we are in a process to clean up Pakistan which has been created by US and India.


  • Sid
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:33PM

    @Hamid Niazi:
    Don’t try to please us. Just try to save your own citizens from these extremists. Just because some of them do not harm you but harm others does not mean they should have space in your society if you truly want to have a progressive nation.


  • Manish
    Jan 23, 2015 - 9:33PM

    To all those who think that the credibility of the reporting is compromised simply because it was published in THE HINDU, they must know that it is the only Newspaper in the entire sub-continent, which exposed Bofors Scandal, against sitting PM Rajiv Gandhi, who lost the subsequent election.


  • Mazo
    Jan 23, 2015 - 10:21PM

    @Sun Tzu:

    Curious. So leftists can’t be “hindu” only the right-wing can be “hindu” ?? I guess the Mahatma was a right-wing fanatic then!


  • Paki
    Jan 23, 2015 - 10:51PM

    To all Indian fellows, lets say, you were in our place. 9/11 happened, and America had come to you like it came to us. The threats it gave, considering our political, economic and social conditions, would you have declined, considering the fact that it would have invaded you. wear our shoes and think for just 2 minutes. you will realize it was right decision at the time. yet we have sharpened the axe that we never knew would be hit at our feet, but then its something that things evolve overtime.
    Regarding Mr Strongest Man’s statement, if it was true, then you all are aware as to why he said so.
    We would be happy to live away from you, if you tame your bulldogs.. – no-offense


  • woody
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:10PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    Neither US can be a friend of
    Pakistan, nor India. Both of the
    countries support each other as both
    of them are non-Muslim countries,
    whereas Pakistan is a Muslim country.

    Xenophobic blather at it’s worst. Suggest you take the time to travel – the World is large – mostly calm/nice/pleasant — and the vast majority of it’s inhabitants aren’t Muslim.


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 23, 2015 - 11:12PM

    In John Mcnaughton’s painting “Obama fiddles while the world burns” the painter has tried to compare him with Nero, who was accused to ordering the christians dwellings himself. The artist forgets that in ancient times the Emperors destroyed cities and monuments in order to rebuild in their image and of their taste and to leave a legacy for the coming generations. Mr Obama has left the task of rebuilding to others and therefore will leave the office in two years withoutleaving any noble legacy.

    Rex Minor


  • tauseef
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:07AM

    You know that’s the requirement of Obama to make a statement in favor of India to please the Indian people and Indian leadership. Yes sir, we will obey your command.


  • Musawer
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:17AM

    Oo dear Obama, puri dunya ka mama
    plz apna ghar sambhal,
    sardi hay drugs han
    aslah hay thugs han
    meth hay cocaine hay
    jobless american line propane hay

    pehlay red indians then black slaves
    mexicans then russians now militants in caves

    Oo dear Obama,
    pOori dunya ka mama
    plz ab band ker yeh
    9/11 ka drama


  • ask
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:17AM

    @Paki: 9/11 and mush-bush came much later; you had already sown seeds of sorrow in 80s during zia-reagan regime by whipping up hysteria against communism.


  • LS
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:25AM

    @Rex Minor:
    And which of the US Presidents is known for rebuilding can you shed a light on it esp in last 100 years?

    The only countries that have rebuilt are Japan and Germany apart from them no one has done that. None.


  • Kashmiri
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:33AM

    100,000 Kashmiris murdered by the Indian Army
    Tens of thousands of Kashmiri women and minor girls raped and gang raped by the Indian Army
    Mass graves, abductions, torture, staged killings of Kashmiris by the Indian Army

    It must be a great trade opportunity Mr Obama!


  • Gp65
    Jan 24, 2015 - 12:52AM

    @Caresless Whispers:
    Perhaps you do not realize that ‘The Hindu’ is a highly left leaning paper and within India perceived to be anti-Hindu – despite the name.


  • Gp65
    Jan 24, 2015 - 1:03AM

    ET mods – every thing is factusal. Please allow rebuttal.

    @pak patriot:

    Those responsible for the APS attack were TTP. Just a year before Baitullah Mehsud was droned, Hamid Gul called him a patriot. Your parliament signed Nizam-eAdl with this same Faxlullah in 3009. When the next leader Gakeemullag Mehdud was droned, is it Indian politicians who protested? No. It was your interior minister Ch. Nissar Ali and the tabdei leader Imran Khan. Myna wear Hassan even called him a martyr. It is not once , twice but multiple times that APCs in Pakistan called them misguided btother’s, stakeholders etc. and wanted talks with them.

    Stop pulling India in this mess.

    The notion that Indian rupees were found with these people and hence they must be facilitated by Indians is silly. When that currency is not even accepted in that neighborhood, even if India had to find them it would have provided dollars or the local currency which can certainly be purchased through international market.

    Stop believing in conspiracy theoriesRecommend

  • Gp65
    Jan 24, 2015 - 1:08AM

    India did not even recognize Israel until 1992. The notion that India has partnered with Israel since the 40s shows how poorly you are informed.

    Even today India supports statehood for Palestine. It does not have blind hatred for Israel who has never harmed us.


  • hamza khan
    Jan 24, 2015 - 1:25AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    luckily you’re one of only a minority of clearly insane pakistanis who still believe after peshwar that general musharraf was WRONG to join the fight on terror. his stance has been vindicated after everything that has happened in the last few years. incidents of terrorism could have been much easier controlled back then had the public fully supported the army and government in its effort to eliminate extremism. when president musharraf repeatedly said we must fight terrorism and extremism for 8 years it was simply met with a roll of the eyes. no one ever said we would come out unscathed. but its a fight for pakistans survival. clearly you dont see that still.


  • a_writer
    Jan 24, 2015 - 2:47AM

    @Hamid Niazi:

    Mr.Niazi, don’t do anything drastic as killing yourself!
    All that the world asks of Pakistan, get rid of the terrorists or at least make sure they practice their skill within Pakistan and not on neighbouring countries.Now, that is not too much to ask, is it?


  • Waseem Sarwar
    Jan 24, 2015 - 3:17AM

    We will have to take tough decisions in near future. The day we have sincere leadership in our country , we will stop begging to Arabs, Chinese and Americans. I mean we have a judiciary system and if nothing solid was put in-front of judge , how can one expect to see Hafiz Saeed behind bars? I am not a supporter of JuD, infect i believe they should be banned and trialed, but there got to be something to charge him with. In an ideal world, Pakistan should have told uncle Sam to mind his own business but beggars can be choosers.


  • THE
    Jan 24, 2015 - 4:17AM

    Express Tribune is a purely Indian enterprise !


  • Qamar
    Jan 24, 2015 - 4:53AM

    Economies of western countries depend on growing economies like china and india. Because western companies can only survive by making money in these countries. So US has to appease India for more market share. However for India its new east india company with a smile on face rather sword in hand? All appeasement will go if India doesnt hand over its wealth which is not easy as there are local monopolies which fund Indian politics. Pakistan has more experience dealing with US than India so nothing to worry US making us jealous by us getting closer to China and Russia thats all.


  • Pir Roshan
    Jan 24, 2015 - 5:09AM

    What Obama is asking for is what Govt of Pakistan should have done long time ago. He is in fact speaking for the APS students with honesty & integrity. To avoid future massacres & tragedies, we need to dismantle Haqanis from Waziristan, Kurram & Orakzai agencies. We need to have police actions against Afghan Taliban in Quetta, Karachi & Peshawar. Similarly dismantle LET & all other kashmiri terrorists groups. This will isolate the Pakistani Taliban & the US will come to help us dismantle it. Otherwise we will loose our integrity & no one in the world will trust us. US & India will unit together to punish us even China will be happy for us to be punished.


  • Jai
    Jan 24, 2015 - 6:13AM

    The CNN anchor asked your jernail the same question about proof of India’s involvement and the Jernail admitted there was none because of this and that. Get the proof and then talk. We had proof of Pakistan’s involvement in Mumbai attacks that is why JuD was banned. Where is your proof? Until then stop cooking up stories.


  • K B Kale
    Jan 24, 2015 - 6:20AM

    The scale of siphoning the money by Pakistani leaders-some civil but bulk of it by military/ISU- received from US aid is astronomical. It has made the Generals rich like Sheikhs monarchs while Pakistani people are barely getting two meals. I don’t say Indian politicians are saints, but still far less corrupt than Pakistanis. You live on US, China & Arab money, India doesn’t. Don’t look at us as enemies, learn from us!


  • harkol
    Jan 24, 2015 - 6:53AM

    Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    Cleaning up Pakistan, the land of the ‘pure’?

    Are you referring to cleaning up of remaining Hindus, Shia, Ahmadiya, Christian & Sikhs?


  • Sid
    Jan 24, 2015 - 7:11AM

    @Paki: Dear, India would never be in your shoe. We never had and something hypothetical as the scenario you presented is unthinkable. You landed in that situation because you along with USA at some point of time helped creating Taliban. As if that was not enough you were the only one of the two country who actually recognized Taliban as government. Plus there is laundry list of terrorist organizations in your country which causes mayhem not just within Pakistan but outside too and were openly considered strategic assets until 9/11 happened after which your state was forced to break links with them, at least publicly. People running your country had created enough situation to put you in this position. More priority is given to Kashmir when every foreign dignitary meets rather than creating atmosphere for investment and development where you guys could have progressed economically far ahead than India citing your strategic location ripe for business with central Asia and beyond. But you got your prioritize mixed up and continued getting blinded by greed for Kashmir. So much that you allowed your military to plunder your budget and your ministers to fool you with false promises and facts on Kashmir.
    While you focused solely on Kashmir and submitted to every world power hoping they will help you snatch Kashmir from Pakistan, India actually spend it’s time on wondering how to be self reliant country and put country on path to development.
    So as you see, India is not Pakistan that it would have been ever bullied to get involved in anybody else’s war.


  • Sach Bhol
    Jan 24, 2015 - 7:46AM

    @Char Latan:

    I could not help laughing at this reader’s view that Sartaj Aziz should have “pressed harder”. Aziz does look constipated and really needs to “press harder”. The only question is: can he deliver anything?!


  • Nasir Khan
    Jan 24, 2015 - 8:43AM

    It is a shame that Pakistani newspapers headline provocative Indian media comments which sound much worse when read out of context.


  • SK
    Jan 24, 2015 - 8:58AM

    American Presidents have been traditionally known to issue statements against Pakistan. Before their visits to India,. Pakistan is now fighting it’s own war and it would do so according to its own terms and priorities .No American President or any other leaders need to dictate us how and what we need to do. It’s good for the country that Obama is not visiting Pakistan , it wouldn’t have done any good to the country anyway , instead his visit would have polarised it more. History would tell us that most American Presidents had been cowards and hypocrats they possessed no courage of making any principled stand on world issues due to Jewish lobbies in senate and congress. So the Ameriacan Predidents statements can best be ignored.


  • Vinu
    Jan 24, 2015 - 9:10AM

    @Caresless Whispers:

    You really dont have a clue about The Hindu. That newspaper is the most anti-hindu newspaper in India. They are from the Kasturi family, one of the doyens of Indian communists party. Many have even called them closet nexal(maoist) supporters. Very left leaning, much more than dawn in pakistan. Now they support Communist Party of Indian and Marxists. Very anti-Modi.


  • Raj - USA
    Jan 24, 2015 - 9:26AM

    @pak patriot:
    Your comment:
    “And those behind 16 December massacre should be facilitated in Afghanistan with indian currency and weapons.”

    Read my comments elsewhere in ET and you will know who is funding terrorists in Pakistan.
    Here is the link to my other comment.

    Every person (which includes their family members) who has property and investments abroad but has no known source of income abroad and everyone whose properties and lifestyle in Pakistan cannot be substantiated with their declared and known income are funding terrorists. This includes politicians, bureaucrats, serving and retired officers and generals of army, judges and media personalities who discuss terror funding regularly in their shows.

    Also note that the terrorists who killed children in Peshawar used grenades and ammunitions of Chinese origin. Pakistan’s own media has disclosed it. Does it mean China is sponsoring these terrorists? Weapons of any country can be bought in markets. Russian AK 47 and other weapons have also been found with terrorists attacking Pakistan. The blood-cloating injections found with the terrorists who attacked Karachi were legally imported in Pakistan by a Karachi based pharmaceutical company and the vials had label of the Pakistani importing company and its full address.


  • Milind
    Jan 24, 2015 - 9:39AM

    @pak patriot – “And those behind 16 December massacre should be facilitated in Afghanistan with indian currency and weapons.”

    Ok. if we did it, what stopped you from acting against them beforehand. What stopped from you from hanging those arrested? What stopped you from acting against your mullahs and political leaders who called them misguided brothers, shaheeds etc.?

    Your thought process is symptomatic of the chaos afflicting Pakistan. You don’t know who your real friends are. You have no clue of your enemies… Everybody who’s anybody is taking a stab at geopolitics & foreign affairs… We wouldn’t have cared, had you not been our neighbor…


  • Abdul Malik
    Jan 24, 2015 - 10:48AM

    btw got petrol /gas/ electricity as yet ?


  • Virkaul
    Jan 24, 2015 - 11:22AM

    @Qamar: You smell of jealousy. East India Company never came with swords like invaders from the NW. They came for trade and saw an opportunity in this fragmented society to rule. Situation has changed since. India has been non-Aligned ever since it’s independence and probably will remain so. The need of the hour is to trade for prosperity and we know how to keep our interests intact. Thanks for your caution.


  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Jan 24, 2015 - 11:58AM

    Obama can’t see the sacrifices of the innocent and sinless Kashmiri people this is why will never emphasize India to resolve Kashmir’s issue….


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 24, 2015 - 10:55PM

    @Pir Roshan:
    You have got a long list of demands! And who if one may ask is to bell the cat? The traumtised marines and the seals have all left and the remaining unfit to stand on their haunches other than telling the Afghan army how to fight? They are gong to train the Afghan army on the successful sample of the Iraqi army which is running away from the ISIL advances.

    Rex Minor


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 24, 2015 - 10:59PM

    No one indeed in modern times!! Did I says something that you did not follow.

    Rex Minor


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 24, 2015 - 11:12PM

    @hamza khan:
    Good point, I guess you meant Parvez Musharf and not Musharaf the father! It is time that he faces the idictment like a man and not hude in the medic quarters like a thief. People who collaborated with him should also come forward and hold on to him, ready to be indicted for the crimes that he is indicted for..

    Rex Minor


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 24, 2015 - 11:29PM

    It is quite understandable that Mr Obama is concerned with terrorist facilities elsewhere in the world, since during his Presidency the USA has organised more than 130 faciities for such people outside the USA with the head quarter in Guatanimo bay. He holds the frenchise from the UNO for rehablitating them and then providing them the residency in a civilised country. It is him who is personaly engaged in transferring the prisoners as far as south America to ensure that the poor sods are given asylum since in their own country of birth they got classified as ‘terrorists’ simply because their Governments were receiving bointies from the USA for them.

    Rex Minor


  • truthbetold
    Jan 25, 2015 - 2:13AM

    ET: second request. Please allow my rebuttal to Hamza Khan who makes false statements.

    @hamza khan:

    ” his (Muaharraf) stance has been vindicated after everything that has happened in the last few years. incidents of terrorism could have been much easier controlled back then had the public fully supported the army and government in its effort to eliminate extremism. ……when president musharraf repeatedly said we must fight”

    Wrong. Musharraf was the reason terrorism got worse in Pakistan. He played his double games of creating and supporting the “good” terrorists while pretending to fight the war on terror with the US/NATO. He was instrumental in the growth of Taliban in Afghanistan. Mush was the one who transported all the Al Qaeda, Haqqani etc. terrorists from Afghanistan after the Americans invaded, remember the Kunduz airlift?

    Musharraf further hid the likes of Osama, Zawahiri, Mullah Omar, etc. in Pakistan and lied to the world. He also encouraged outfits such as LeT while appear to be banning them. Let’s not even talk about the 3000 NLI soldiers he sent to their death in a meaningless war in Kargil.


  • hell bell
    Jan 25, 2015 - 9:47AM

    @Hamid Niazi:
    Please dont send terrorist to india. If u want to prove that pakistan dont support terroris give back the mumbai atack hafees saeed and dawood ibraim.

    Ala re ala obama ala


  • hell bell
    Jan 25, 2015 - 9:50AM

    Ala re ala Obama ala

    Please dont send terrorist to india and prove your self to hand over the hafees saeed, dawood ibrahim to india.


  • Walter Yoder
    Jan 25, 2015 - 10:04AM

    @Caresless Whispers: Lol! Your comment gives away your total ignorance! “THE HINDU” is a newspaper based in Chennai and is a hard core left wing oriented newspaper.


  • Eddied
    Jan 25, 2015 - 8:32PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: this is the most blatant declaration of stupidity I have ever read…you say Pakistan believes…then you list lie after lie…how can anyone be this ignorant…


  • sam
    Jan 25, 2015 - 11:15PM

    @Hamid Niazi:

    Excellent reply Sid! straight to the point. Pakistan will never learn how to progress, they will ask for more aid in the garb of being the victim of terrorism, with no development at all but only for more arms in the race to catch up with India. They will go to any extent to do that.


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