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British Foreign Secretary: Mumbai Terror Attack Linked to Pakistanis


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.

"I have 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 organization."

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.

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