Stressing that that government would not compromise with those using guns, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today said that the government would go to any extent to root out terrorism from the country, even while it was willing to hold talks with those laying down arms.
Speaking to the media in Shillong where he had to address the 96th Indian Science Congress, Dr Singh said, the growing menace of terrorism and naxalism was a cause of worry.
Referring to the terrorist strikes in Mumbai, Assam, Delhi and elsewhre in the country, Dr Singh admitted there were some initial setbacks. however, he stressed, "We will overcome them. The government will go to any extent to root out terrorism from the country."
Replying to a query on the government's willingness to hold talks with the banned ULFA, the prime minister said, all insurgent groups must recognise that the only course open to them is to lay down arms.
Dr Singh said, "We will never compromise with those who believe in use of gun to get solution to their real or imaginary problems. Once they lay down arms as Indian citizens we are willing to talk to anybody."
Despite Pakistan having ruled out extraditing terorists to India, Dr Singh eesponded saying the country must hand over "criminals" responsible for these strikes to face trial in India.
Singh hoped that some sense would prevail on the leadership of Pakistan and it recognises that those behind the horrible acts in Mumbai have to be brought to justice.
"It (Pakistan) has to take action on the demand from all civilised countries that the perpetrators (of Mumbai attacks) will be brought to book. We hope that these criminals will be handed over to us to face trial."
In the midst of hysteria emanating from Pakistan, Dr Singh categorically ruled out war as a solution.
He also hoped that the new government in Bangladesh would not allow its territory to be used for terrorist acts against India especially in the north east. Replying to a question on terrorism from Bangladesh, Singh said it was true that certain insurgent groups had taken refuge in Bangladesh and this has been brought to the notice of the government (in Dhaka).
"We have not had any cooperation from them. We will take up the issue of insurgents taking refuge in Bangladesh with the new government. I sincerely hope that the new government in Bangladesh will take appropriate measures to see that the territory of Bangladesh will not be allowed for terrorist acts against India, in particular the north east."