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'Can’t assure 26/11 won't happen again'

world Updated: Jan 23, 2010 00:08 IST
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Pakistan, which is experiencing “Mumbai-like attacks almost every other day”, cannot guarantee there will not be a repeat of the 26/11 strikes in India, Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has told the US.

“Pakistan is itself facing Mumbai-like attacks almost every other day and when we cannot protect our own citizens, how can we guarantee that there wouldn’t be any more terrorist hits in India,” Gilani was quoted by a source in the media here as having told visiting US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates on Thursday.

Gilani said the best safeguard against such incidents is delinking the bilateral peace process from action against terrorism.

The Dawn newspaper reported that the Pakistan Prime Minister told Gates about steps taken against militant groups, saying they had been outlawed and their network disrupted.

In an apparent reference to Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai attacks, Gilani said his government could not prosecute anyone without evidence.

He also sought “even-handedness” by the US in its dealings with Pakistan and India, the daily reported.

An official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said Pakistan-India relations had figured in Gilani’s discussions with Gates but did not say whether the Premier had said Islamabad could not guarantee there would not be more Mumbai-like attacks.

The statement quoted Gilani as saying that “Pakistan is committed to peace in the region and, in this context, his government is making sincere efforts to resume the composite dialogue process with India.”