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HRW asks India, Pak to cooperate in Mumbai attack probe

world Updated: Dec 02, 2008 11:24 IST

Condemning terror attacks that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai, an international rights group on Tuesday asked the governments of India and Pakistan to cooperate in a "prompt and thorough investigation" to identify the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice.

"No political cause can ever justify such horrific and wanton violence," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"After Mumbai, Marriott bombing in Islamabad, bombings in Delhi in September, and the many other attacks against civilians in India and Pakistan, now is the time for the leaders of both countries to work together to address this scourge," he said.

"Indians and Pakistanis have repeatedly been victims of terror attacks," said Adams. "The two governments need to respond with cool heads to such atrocities, beginning with cooperation in the investigation and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Terrorism is a problem that needs to be addressed both within borders and regionally."

The HRW called on the Pakistan army and intelligence services to cooperate with the Indian investigation, wherever the evidence leads. There are concerns in India and elsewhere about the commitment of the Pakistani state to shut down militant groups who carry out terror attacks.

"Pakistan's foreign minister was right to say, 'We are facing a common enemy,'" said Adams. "But on matters of national security policy, the army and intelligence services still call the shots in Pakistan and it's not clear if they will allow the government to shut down groups in Pakistan who may have been involved in the Mumbai attacks and other outrages."