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UK doesn't feel Pak Govt was involved in Mumbai attacks

india Updated: Jan 13, 2009 18:36 IST

Britain on Tuesday differed with India's view that Pakistan's official agencies could have had a role in Mumbai attacks even as it underlined that Islamabad has the "fundamental" responsibility to target the "roots" of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which was behind the terror strike.

India hoped that Pakistan would hand over the "fugitives of Indian law", notwithstanding Islamabad's refusal to do so, and asked the world community to build pressure on Pakistan in a "concerted" manner to ensure that perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks are brought to justice.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who held "exhaustive" talks with his British counterpart David Miliband, apprised him of details of the Mumbai attacks and its links in Pakistan.

"It is clear where the responsibility lies for Mumbai attacks, it is with the LeT," Miliband said at a joint press conference with Mukherjee after their talks.

"Pakistan government, Pakistani state has the primary responsibility, fundamental responsibility to tackle the roots of this organisation," the British Foreign Minister said.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's view that official agencies of Pakistan could have been involved in the Mumbai strikes, Miliband said "we do not believe the attacks were directed by Pakistani state".

He, however, said it is important to see "what is the approach of Pakistani state towards LeT organisation and the way Pakistani state takes on the LeT."

Contending that it is in Pakistan's own interest to go after terrorists, the British Foreign Minister said the modern day threat to Pakistan comes from "within its own borders" as has been highlighted by the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

"I think the first priority is to bring the perpetrators to justice... I think that is the responsibility of the Pakistan state. It is something we look to them to fulfil as strong sense of the people of Pakistan and also as a member of the UN Security Council," Miliband said as he noted that India has been hit by a series of terror attacks during last year.

When it was pointed out that LeT's front outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa continues to function despite the UN ban, he said Pakistan has a "history of people being arrested and then not being prosecuted or brought to justice".

He underlined that "In this case, it is essential that those being arrested are brought to justice and if they are found guilty they are properly punished. And that is an appropriate response."

Responding to a question on Islamabad's refusal to extradite anyone to India, Mukherjee said Pakistan, as a member of the international community, has various bilateral and regional obligations to cooperate in ending terrorism.

"I do hope that the material we have provided to Pakistan and evidences which have given, they will act on it and will ensure that perpetrators of these terror acts are brought to justice and some of the fugitives of Indian law who have taken shelter in Pakistan will be handed over to India for their proper justice," he said.