Pakistan has urged India to lower bilateral tensions that are running
high over Indian allegations that the terrorists behind Mumbai's deadly
assaults have links with Pakistani extremist groups. The Pakistani
foreign minister has reiterated his country stands ready to help New Delhi
investigate the violence and will move against any local group in
Pakistan if India produced solid evidence. Ayaz Gul reports from
Indian leaders have blamed Pakistan-based Islamic
groups for planning this week's coordinated attacks in the country's
commercial capital of Mumbai. Pakistan has condemned the assault as a
"barbaric act" and has denied the Indian allegations.
after an emergency Cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Saturday, Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi urged India to establish evidence before
pointing fingers at Pakistan. But he acknowledged the Mumbai violence
has raised bilateral tensions.
"Let us not fool ourselves," said Qureshi. "It
is a serious situation when the people in India feel this is 9/11 for
India. It is, I think, in Pakistan's interest and in
India's interest to defuse the situation. Lowering of tension is
Elements within Pakistan's top spy agency, the
Inter-Services-Intelligence or ISI, are accused of having links to
extremist groups suspected in the Mumbai attacks.
leaders have vowed to cooperate with India in fighting terrorism and
finding those behind the attacks on the Indian commercial capital. But
on Saturday Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani withdrew a pledge to send
the ISI chief to India to share information with Indian investigators.
Minister Qureshi dismissed suggestions his country has gone back on its
commitment and said Pakistan will move against any individual or group
if India offered evidence linking them to the Mumbai carnage.
they have information if they have evidence they should share it with
us," he said. "As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned,
terrorism is terrorism. And we do not qualify it nor do we
differentiate between organizations. Any entity or group involved in
this ghastly act, the government of Pakistan will proceed against it."
Qureshi reiterated that terrorism is a common enemy and India should
not jump to conclusions. He said that Pakistan is a vital partner in
the global war against terrorism and the policy has provoked extremists
to kill Pakistani security forces and civilians by carrying out suicide
bombings and other attacks across the country.