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'Pak to be given credible proof'

The PM says India will provide Pakistan with credible evidence on Mumbai train blasts, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2006 10:22 IST

India will “take advantage” of Islamabad’s offer to act on evidence to be handed over by Delhi regarding the Mumbai train blasts and hand over “credible evidence” to Pakistan in the matter.

The two countries are in the process of setting up a joint mechanism to fight terrorism, which they had agreed to in Havana. British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the discussions between Delhi and Islamabad at Havana but sounded Britain’s strong disapproval to any support for terrorism.

With regard to India's contention that Pakistan's ISI and terror groups based there are responsible for the July 11 Mumbai blasts, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in response to a question, “We will take advantage of that (Pakistan’s offer to cooperate) and will provide them, what we consider, is credible evidence.” The prime minister pointed out that the joint mechanism proposed to be drawn up by Islamabad and Delhi “was in the process of being worked out”.

Singh did not name Pakistan as the perpetrator of terrorism in India during the joint press conference that followed his 90-minute meeting with the British prime minister, as part of his UK visit. Neither did Blair. But there were clear signals that the two countries did not have any differences on this count. “We do not need to hand any evidence at this level. They know the situation very well,” an Indian official later explained.

Blair said they had agreed. “We have to send the strongest possible signal to everyone that terror cannot be tolerated, whether in Madrid, London or Kashmir. Wherever it is, terrorism is something that we cannot tolerate.”

“No country, no government, no state should support it,” he went on.

There was clear support from Britain for the Havana pact, which had prompted criticism from hardliners back home. Blair — who started his opening remarks at the joint press conference with wholesome praise for the Indian prime minister — said there was only one solution to terrorism that is “everywhere”. That “decent people” should come together and stand up for the values of tolerance".

The two countries also raised the content of the joint working group on counter-terrorism and agreed to work in a “strategic partnership” aimed at combating terrorism in a “coherent global effort”. Singh praised the “strengthening strategic partnership” between the two countries, pointing out that both faced a “common terror threat”.

First Published: Oct 10, 2006 22:53 IST