Thursday, December 11, 2008
War with Pakistan is “no solution” to the problem of militants using Pakistani soil to launch anti-India attacks, India’s foreign minister said on Thursday after demanding Pakistan hand over 40 people.
One of those suspects, the founder of a militant group blamed by India and U.S. officials for the attack on Mumbai, said a U.N. decision to put him and the charity he heads on a terrorist list defamed Pakistan.
India has been angry at what it sees as the Pakistani government’s tolerance of militants, and has demanded Pakistan act against those it blames for Mumbai and earlier attacks including one in 2001 that nearly thrust the nuclear-armed foes into a fourth war.
“We have given them lists of 40 persons not one, not 20 — lists of 40 persons and we have also pointed out that their denial is not going to resolve the issue,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Indian parliament on Thursday.
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Indian officials had previously demanded that Pakistan hand over 20 suspected militants, some of them linked to last month’s Mumbai attack in which 179 people were killed by gunmen that Indian police say are from Pakistan.
Asked by an angry lawmaker why India was not attacking Pakistan after so much proof of its complicity in fomenting trouble in India, Mukherjee replied: “That is no solution.”
Washington has engaged in intensive diplomacy to stop tensions from mounting between Pakistan and India and keep Islamabad focussed on fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Keeping up the pressure on Pakistan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte arrived in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss “regional issues” an embassy spokesman said.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm