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India ready to break with Pakistan over lack of help with Mumbai inquiry

India ready to break with Pakistan over lack of help with Mumbai inquiry

Author: David Byers
Publication: The Times
Date: January 12, 2009
URL:
ttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5502833.ece?print=yes&randnum=1231902635574

India plans to break off business, transport and tourist links with Pakistan and isolate it from the rest of the world if it fails to help to investigate the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the country's Home Minister told The Times today.

Speaking in an interview that will raise the temperature further between the two countries, Palaniappan Chidambaram accused Pakistan of doing nothing to assist India bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks on the country's financial capital, which killed 165 people between November 26 and 29.

Asked what Pakistan was doing to help with the investigation, in which India handed over a dossier of evidence to its neighbour last week, Mr Chidambaram said: "Zero. What have they provided? Nothing."

The minister - who will brief David Miliband on the investigation's progress when the British Foreign Secretary arrives in Delhi tomorrow - gave an indication of action that would be taken if Pakistan continued to refuse to investigate the attacks, blamed by India on Islamic militants with links to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

"There are many, many links between India and Pakistan, and if Pakistan does not co-operate and does not help to bring the perpetrators to heel, those ties will become weaker and weaker and one day snap," he said.

"Why would we entertain Pakistani business people? Why would we entertain tourists in India? Why would we send tourists there?" Mr Chidambaram refused to discuss when such measures might be introduced, but said: "We need co-operation soon."

Since the attacks in November, India has become infuriated with Pakistan's apparent failure to take more aggressive action against the Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which Indian, American and British officials say was behind the attacks. In the days after the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan captured two of the suspected planners, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, in a crackdown against the LeT in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, but India says it mhas done little since then.

Pakistan has also denied claims by Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, that the ISI was involved. India also says that it has failed to respond to a 100-page dossier, presented to it last week, with transcripts of intercepted calls between the gunmen and their handlers in Pakistan during their attacks. The Pakistani National Security Chief, Mahmoud Ali Durrani, was dismissed last week only hours after confirming that the lone surviving gunman was Pakistani.

Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani Prime Minister, further infuriated the Indian Government by carrying out interviews saying that the attacks were related to the disputed territory of Kashmir, comparing Pakistanis living there to the Palestinians in Gaza.

"Gilani is living in a world of his own if he brings Kashmir into this," a senior Indian government source told The Times. "The simple fact is that Pakistan is a failing, but not yet a failed, state. That is what he needs to address."

During his three-day visit to India, Mr Miliband will meet Mr Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee, the External Affairs Minister, to discuss terrorism and climate change. He will also speak at theTaj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai, both of which were among the buildings attacked

Mr Miliband's visit comes after Gordon Brown visited Delhi last month to express his condolences and solidarity after the attacks.


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