Pakistan pressed on India attacks
Condoleezza Rice calls for Pakistan's 'cooperation.' She will visit India Wednesday.
NEW DELHI; and ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN
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It is acknowledgment that mounting evidence suggeststhe involvement of Pakistani militants in Mumbai – and that Pakistan might be loath to admit it.
It also reflects concern that rising tension between the neighboring nations over the attacks might divert Pakistan's attention – and even troops – from the fight against militants on its border with Afghanistan.
Already pulled between US pressure in its war on terror and financial collapse, Pakistan will probably face renewed demands from its longtime rival: control militants targeting India, or else.
On Monday, India said it had told Pakistan's envoy that militants from Pakistan had carried out the attacks, and it demanded swift action against those responsible.
It would be a difficult and enormously unpopular task to uproot groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba – the militants the Indian police have linked to the Mumbai attacks. "International pressure is needed" to get India and Pakistan to talk constructively on this point, says Ahmed Rashid, an independent political analyst in Lahore.
No senior Indian official has yet accused Lashkar-e-Taiba openly. Both the prime minister and foreign minister have spoken only generally that "elements with links to Pakistan" were involved. Indeed, two days after the shooting stopped, there remain questions about the attackers.
Though Indian officials claimed that there were only 10 terrorists, investigators found supplies for 15 men on the boat that carried the militants to the Mumbai coast, according to the Indian Express. It suggests some militants might have escaped.
In addition, an antiterrorism squad official interviewed by The New York Times refuted the idea that all of the terrorists were from Pakistan.
But numerous reports quote police officials saying that they believe the militants were trained in Pakistan. The most likely culprit is Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to a police official, the only gunman captured alive after the attacks claimed to belong to the militant group, which was created in 1989 to foment insurgency in Kashmir. The group has denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's civilian government has gone to great lengths to insist that it will honestly investigate any claim that Pakistanis were involved. In an interview Sunday with The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, he stated that "if any evidence points to any individual or group in my part of the country, I shall take the strictest of actions ... without any hesitation."
Yet the old fault lines that have made the India-Pakistan problem so intractable show signs of resurfacing.
Shortly after the attacks, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made an unprecedented offer to send the head of Pakistan's top intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), to India to clear the air. The offer was promptly withdrawn; neither the country nor the Army would tolerate it. Indian accusations of a Pakistani hand in the attacks have been branded as a "smear campaign" by news outlets, which have told the government to counter "Indian aggression."