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Pakistan Says Indian Terrorism Does Not Have Pakistani Roots


Pakistan says it does not allow its territory to be used for terrorism against India, a response to allegations by the Indian prime minister that the Mumbai train bombers got support from inside Pakistan. A Pakistani official called cancellation by India of this week's scheduled peace talks a "negative development," and expressed hope that the dialogue would continue.

Since last week's bombings in Mumbai, Indian leaders have repeatedly said Islamabad has to dismantle terrorist networks based inside Pakistan before cross-border peace talks can resume.

Monday, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammed Khan insisted the two-year old peace process and the attacks in the Indian financial capital, also known as Bombay, should not be linked.

"There ought not to be any linkage between the efforts to combat and fight terrorism and the efforts to resolve problems. These are two different things," he said.

The two historic rivals have been engaged in a tenuous two-year peace dialogue, aimed at easing cross-border tensions. A new round of discussions was scheduled to be held this week, but the bombings re-ignited the two countries' historic distrust, and India put the peace process on hold.

The deadly attacks killed almost 200 people and injured more than 800 others. Indian suspicions quickly focused on Kashmiri separatist groups with historic ties to Pakistan's powerful intelligence services.

Islamabad has strongly denounced the bombings, and rejects allegations of any official collusion.

Monday, Khan again insisted Pakistan does not allow anti-Indian terrorists to stage attacks from inside Pakistan, and repeated promises of assistance as India searches for the bombers.

"As regards acts of terrorism, we have condemned them, and we have stated that, if there is solid evidence, we will help with the investigation," said Khan. "This is how the international community cooperates with each other in combating terrorism. There is no other way."

Pakistan has in the past supported a number of militant Kashmiri separatist groups based inside Pakistan, and the Pakistan-controlled portion of Kashmir.

But since the peace process started in 2003, Pakistan has outlawed several groups suspected of staging terrorist acts against India.

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