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India says Pakistan attitude unchanged on militants
Fri Jan 2, 2009 5:53am EST
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By Krittivas Mukherjee
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's defense minister said on Friday Pakistan was still failing to crack down on militants blamed for the Mumbai attacks, and that New Delhi had not deployed troops despite tension with its neighbor.
India has been mobilizing support across the world to press Pakistan to crack down on militant networks there which have been blamed for November attacks in Mumbai that left 179 people dead.
New Delhi says it has repeatedly provided Islamabad with evidence of use of Pakistani soil by militants, but Pakistani authorities have rejected those claims, saying the proof was not credible.
"I don't think (there is) any noticeable change in the attitude of Pakistan," Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony told reporters in New Delhi.
"Statements are not important, actions are important. They have to prove by their action."
"When more than 30 terrorist outfits are still operating in Pakistan, how can I say there is a real improvement or real change in attitude?" Antony added.
Pakistan launched raids on militants on its soil after the Mumbai attacks and detained several Islamist leaders wanted by India. But India said it was not satisfied and Pakistan needed to do more to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism.
Pakistan, which has in the past used militants to further foreign policy objectives, said it was taking all requisite steps to counter terrorism and was awaiting a response to its offer to work with India in the investigation.
"There is no terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan. Terrorism is a global issue. Terrorist elements are found in every society," the Foreign Ministry said in a release.
Asked about Indian accusations that Pakistan was in a state of denial over its links to the attack, the ministry said it did not want to indulge in a "blame-game."
"The two countries need to demonstrate restraint and responsibility," it said.
"JUST A RUMOR"
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a leader of the banned Pakistani militant group that India has blamed for the Mumbai attack, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had confessed to Pakistani interrogators that he was a main planner.
The government has rejected the report saying its investigation was not finished.
"It's just rumor. Our investigation hasn't been finalized so how could its finding be shared?" said Interior Ministry official Kamal Shah. Continued...
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