Contradicting New Delhi's stand that the Mumbai terror attacks had the support of Islamabad’s official agencies, Britain has made it clear that it is not of the view that the Pakistan state had directed the attacks.
“I have said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state. And I think it is important to restate that,” said British Foreign Secretary David Milliband.
Last week, PM Manmohan Singh had said that there was enough evidence to show that, “given the sophistication and military precision of the attack it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan.”
Milliband arrived here on Tuesday on a four-day visit to show solidarity with India following 26/11. His next stopover will be Islamabad.
“What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LeT,” Milliband said while addressing a joint-press conference with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Earlier, the two held detailed talks where Mukherjee apprised his British counterpart of the evidence gathered in the Mumbai case.
British PM Gordon Brown, who was here in mid-December, had said, “We know the group responsible (for the attacks) is LeT, and they (Pakistan) have a great deal to answer for.”
“I do hope the materials provided to Pakistan, evidence given, they will act on it and they will ensure that the perpetrators of this terror act are brought to justice, and some of the fugitives violating Indian laws who have taken
shelter in Pakistan will be handed over to India,” Mukherjee said.
When pointed out that LeT’s front outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa continues to function despite the UN ban, Miliband said, “You know there is a history of people being arrested and then not being prosecuted. In this case it is essential that those who have been arrested are brought to justice if found guilty then properly punished. And that is an appropriate response to the evidence that has been presented.”