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Pak offers to help India probe Mumbai blasts

But it rejected Indian accusations that an infrastructure of terror existed on Pak soil.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 17:03 IST

Pakistan said on Thursday it was ready to help India's investigation into the Mumbai bomb blasts that killed 186 people.

But a foreign ministry spokeswoman rejected Indian accusations that an "infrastructure of terrorism" existed on Pakistani soil.

"Pakistan stands ready along with the international community to help India's investigation, because terrorism is a global problem," spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told the agency.

She said such help would be unconditional and in no way dependent on a resolution of Pakistan's dispute with India over Kashmir.

President Pervez Musharraf made a similar offer to share information to help Indian investigators in the aftermath of a series of bomb blasts that killed 69 people in New Delhi last October.

Aslam's comments came after India reacted angrily to remarks by Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri in Washington that sought to link the blasts with outstanding disputes between the two countries.

"We find it appalling that Foreign Minister Kasuri should seek to link this blatant and inhuman act of terror against men, women and children to the so-called lack of resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told a news conference on Wednesday.

Sarna also urged Pakistan to take steps to dismantle an "infrastructure of terrorism" on its soil.

Aslam said the accusation was baseless.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are due to meet in New Delhi on July 20 to discuss confidence-building measures between the nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

India and Pakistan began a peace process in early 2004, but they have yet to make significant progress on core issues, notably Kashmir.

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