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India Demands Perpetrators of Mumbai Attacks Be Brought to Justice

  • Anjana Pasricha

India has asked Pakistan to ensure that perpetrators of the terror strikes in Mumbai are brought to justice, and to eliminate terror groups operating from the country. The demands were made in response to Islamabad's acknowledgement that the Mumbai raid, which killed more than 170 people, was partly planned in Pakistan.

In a statement to parliament Friday, India's foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said Islamabad's admission that last November's terror attacks in Mumbai were launched and partly plotted in Pakistan came after months of "denial and diversionary tactics."

Islamabad announced Thursday that it is holding in custody six suspects in the Mumbai attacks, and has filed a case against them. It was the first admission by Islamabad that some Pakistani citizens were involved in the attacks.

India's foreign minister called this a "positive step," but wants Islamabad to do more. Mukherjee says Pakistan must ensure that those guilty of mounting the Mumbai attacks are brought to justice, and dismantle all infrastructure of terror groups operating from Pakistani territory.

"The threat of terrorism from Pakistan has emerged as a global menace," he said. "The major onus of responsibility to eliminate this threat rests on the Government of Pakistan. It is imperative that it act with sincerity and act effectively against the license that terrorist groups enjoy in its territory."

India's foreign minister also said that Mumbai was not the first or only terror attack in India linked to "the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan," and warned that relations between the two South Asian neighbors can only be normalized if Islamabad works to prevent further terror strikes.

India had put a peace process between the two countries on hold in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai.

"We are at a point in our relationship where the authorities in Pakistan itself have to choose the relationship that they want in India in future. Much depends on actions in the Mumbai case reaching their logical conclusion," he said.

Islamabad said on Thursday that it wants to assure the international community and all those who have been victims of terrorism that "we mean business," and called on India to provide more evidence to secure a conviction for the accused in the Mumbai attacks. India says it will provide whatever it can.

The acknowledgement by Pakistan that some of its citizens had plotted the attacks is expected to ease growing tensions between the neighbors. But analysts say India does not want the international community to let up on pressure which was brought on Islamabad in the wake of the attacks to crack down on terrorism.

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