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India keeps pressure on Pakistan over Mumbai
Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:12am EST
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By Matthias Williams
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's foreign minister said on Monday that countries failing to clamp down on terrorism would pay a "heavy price," as New Delhi kept pressure on Pakistan to act against militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks.
"Countries found wanting in their commitment to zero tolerance of terrorism will be made to pay heavy price by the international community," Pranab Mukherjee told a conference in India's capital.
"Our diplomatic efforts in dealing with terrorist states will continue unabated."
Tension has run high between the two nuclear-armed rivals since the attacks which killed 179 people. India has blamed them on the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Mukherjee's latest statement came a day before Barack Obama takes office as the new U.S. president.
Indian officials are frustrated at what they see as Pakistan's slowness at arresting the attack's planners. They want the new U.S. administration to press Islamabad to act on a dossier of evidence presented this month by New Delhi.
Despite the tension, the chance of military confrontation between the rivals, which have fought three wars since 1947, is low thanks in part to the diplomacy of the United States and other powers, according to analysts.
While Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the attacks must have had the support of official agencies within Pakistan, the United States and its allies have stepped back from blaming the Pakistan government.
"GOOD NEWS IN TWO WEEKS"
The sense that India may not have the full support of the West was highlighted at the weekend.
Indian media criticized British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said on a visit to New Delhi that India needed to resolve the issue of disputed Kashmir as part of a wider strategy to improve relations with Pakistan after the attacks.
New Delhi sees the issue of Kashmir, ruled in part but claimed as a whole by both India and Pakistan, as irrelevant to the Mumbai raid.
Pakistan condemned the Mumbai attack from the outset and denied involvement of any of its agencies. It has offered to cooperate with India by sending over a security official and setting up a joint team to investigate.
India has not accepted the offers.
In an Indian TV interview, Miliband said Islamabad must move away from the stance toward LeT he says that it held under former president Pervez Musharraf. Continued...
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