Pakistan condemns Mumbai attacks
By STEPHEN GRAHAM,Associated Press Writer AP - Friday, November 28
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan warned Thursday against "knee-jerk reactions" after more than 100 people died in attacks in India that New Delhi blamed on terrorists based outside its borders.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, and India has frequently blamed Pakistan for past terrorist attacks in its territory.
Any renewed chill in their relations could dash U.S. hopes for Pakistan to focus more squarely on tackling al-Qaida and Taliban militants along the Afghan border.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was visiting India as part of a slow-moving South Asian peace process, said he was "shocked and horrified" by Wednesday's attacks in Mumbai.
He pledged the full cooperation of Pakistan's young government to counter terrorism in the region, according to The Press Trust of India, and appeared to caution against blaming militants linked to Pakistan for the attacks.
"We have to develop a better understanding" of the incident, Qureshi told reporters. "Let us not jump to conclusions, let us not go in for knee-jerk reactions."
A previously unknown militant group identifying itself as the Deccan Mujahideen reportedly claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks.
In an address to the nation, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday it was "evident" that a "group based outside the country" carried out the attacks.
He didn't elaborate, or name Pakistan, but he said India would "take up strongly with our neighbors that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated and that there will be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them."
Earlier, Indian navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said navy officers were boarding a cargo vessel that had recently come to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan, on suspicion of links to the Mumbai attacks. Hours later, he said nothing suspicious was found on board and that the ship had been released.
Pakistan's Port and Shipping Minister Nabil Gabol called suspicions that the boat had links to the Mumbai attacks a "false allegation."
Relations between India and Pakistan have improved in recent years, helped by a reduction in the flow of militants into Kashmir, the divided and violence-torn Himalayan territory at the core of their dispute.
Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, declared at the weekend that India posed no threat to Pakistan and called for the heavily militarized border to be opened for trade.
However, past terrorist strikes in India have brought the nuclear-armed rivals close to war, despite Islamabad's denials of involvement.
India has accused Pakistan over a string of attacks including the 2001 assault on the Indian parliament in New Delhi by militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.
More recently, Indian accused Pakistan's intelligence services of helping Taliban militants bomb its embassy in the Afghan capital in July, killing 58 people.
Pakistani officials say there is no evidence to support the allegations,
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has expressed hope that improved India-Pakistan relations would allow Islamabad to focus on combating Islamic militants along the Afghan border.
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