The British foreign
secretary says the November terror attacks in Mumbai were not directed by the
Pakistani state, but has urged Islamabad to act against its perpetrators. He is
the latest official to visit India, as New Delhi mounts a diplomatic offensive
to pressure Islamabad to act against those guilty for the terror strike.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters in New Delhi,
Tuesday, he believes that the Pakistan state was not involved in the terror
strikes in Mumbai.
But he says the attacks clearly had links to the
banned Islamic militant group, the Laskhar-e-Taiba, which is based in Pakistan,
and called on Islamabad to root out the group, also known as LET.
said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the
Pakistani state, and I think it's important to restate that," said Miliband.
"What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the LET organization
and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LET
Last week, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said
he believes the terror attacks could not have been mounted without involvement
of Pakistan's state agencies, and accused Pakistan of using terrorism as an
instrument of state policy. The accusation drew an angry denial from Islamabad
and deepened tensions between the neighbors.
The British foreign
secretary comes to India in a bid to show solidarity with New Delhi, in the wake
of the Mumbai attacks.
After holding talks with his British counterpart,
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee called on the international community
to ensure that those responsible for the Mumbai terror attack and previous
terror strikes in India face trial.
"I do hope the materials which we
have provided to Pakistan, evidences which we have given, they will act on it
and they will ensure that perpetrators of this terror attack are brought to
justice and some of the fugitives who have taken shelter in Pakistan, violating
Indian laws, will be handed over to India," he said.
Last week, India
handed over transcripts of conversations between the gunmen and their handlers
in Pakistan, as well as data recovered from satellite phones to Islamabad, to
back its accusation that that the attack was planned and carried out by
Pakistanis. Pakistan says the lone gunman who was captured is Pakistani, but
denies any links to the attack.
Observers say India is becoming
frustrated at what it sees as Pakistan's failure to crack down on terror groups,
such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba.