Bappa Majumdar and Zeeshan Haider
Monday, December 22, 2008
India accused Pakistan on Monday of trying to shift blame for the Mumbai attacks and demanded it do more to dismantle militant networks, while a top U.S. commander landed in Islamabad for more talks.
As tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors simmered, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said the armed forces were fully capable of defending the country and the people would be united if war was imposed.
India and the United States have blamed Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for last month’s attacks which have provoked a sharp rise in rhetoric between the nuclear-armed neighbors who have fought three wars since 1947.
Pakistan denies any links to the assault on India’s financial heart, which killed 179 people, blaming “non-state actors,” and has promised to cooperate in investigations. However, Pakistan says India has provided no evidence for it to investigate.
“Pakistan’s response so far has demonstrated their earlier tendency to resort to a policy of denial and to seek to deflect and shift the blame and responsibility,” Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.