Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says Indian leaders must not
blame his country for this week's deadly terror attacks in Mumbai. And
in an unprecedented move, he has agreed to send the chief of Pakistan's
top spy agency to India to help investigate the violence. Ayaz Gul
reports from Islamabad.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
telephoned his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on Friday to tell him
that Pakistan wants better relations with India and is ready to fully
cooperate to fight terrorism.
He told reporters that Pakistan
is not behind the attacks in the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai
and condemns such acts of terrorism because Pakistan itself is under
attack from extremist forces.
Mr. Gilani says that his Indian
counterpart told him that a preliminary investigation has linked
attackers to the Pakistani city of Karachi. At the request of the
Indian leader, the Pakistani prime minister says he has agreed to send
the head of the country's top spy agency, the Inter-Services
Intelligence or ISI, to India for sharing information.
[Prime Minister Singh] said that we have held a preliminary
investigation and in preliminary investigation they said there are some
indications the [attackers] from Karachi [southern port city of
Pakistan]," he said. "We know that Pakistan is not involved but at the
same time they wanted cooperation from the ISI. When we are not
involved and we have nothing to hide why should we feel guilty about
Indian authorities suspect that extremists belonging to
Pakistani militant groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, are
behind the attacks in Mumbai. The two outlawed al-Qaida-linked
organizations have a long history of launching suicide missions and
other attacks against targets in India allegedly with the help of the
Pakistani spy agency, the ISI.
But leaders in Islamabad have
denied these allegations and say Pakistani security forces are making
all possible efforts to discourage militancy.
The country has
seen relentless attacks on security forces particularly in Pakistan's
northwest and cities across the country. Officials say the violence is
meant to discourage the government's anti-terror campaign.
critics say that elements within the Pakistani intelligence agency,
ISI, may still have links with some of the jihadi groups. Defense
analyst Ayesha Siddiqa welcomes the government's decision to send the
spy agency's chief to India, saying no militant group at home must be
"I think this is a time that besides [ISI chief] going
to India and discussing it with the counterparts there, I think what we
need to do at our end is also carry out an investigation and make sure
that these groups, which are bothering Pakistan - forget about India or
any other country - terribly, should be eliminated," she said.
President Asif Ali Zardari also spoke to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Friday to condemn the attacks in Mumbai and blamed "non-state
actors" for the bloodshed.