Homeland Security

Zardari blames 'non-state actors' for Mumbai attack

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Nov 28, IRNA
Zardari-Mumbai Attacks
President Asif Ali Zardari telephoned India's prime minister on Friday to condemn attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed at least 130 people and suggested 'non-state actors' were responsible.

Zardari told Singh he was "appalled and shocked over the tragedy".

"Non-state actors wanted to force upon the governments their own agenda but they must not be allowed to succeed," Zardari's office cited him as telling Singh.

The president's office did not refer to Singh's reference to an external link or to the Indian prime minister's warning of "a cost" if India's neighbours did not take action to stop their territory being used to launch such attacks.

Gunmen raided several places in India's financial capital on Wednesday evening in brazen, coordinated attacks. Several of the militants were thought to be still holding a handful of foreign hostages on Friday.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pinned blame on Thursday on militant groups based in India's neighbours, usually an allusion to old rival Pakistan, raising prospects of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.

India's foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday initial evidence showed the militants had links with Pakistan.

Relations between India and Pakistan have warmed in recent years and Zardari has made it clear he wants to improve them further.

But big militant attacks in India invariably bring with them suspicion of Pakistani involvement, either by Pakistan-based militants or even its security agents.

Pakistan bemoans what it sees as knee-jerk blame by India.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who arrived in India on Wednesday for a four-day visit, said he was shocked and horrified by the "barbaric" attacks in Mumbai.

Qureshi also suggested setting up a telephone hotline between intelligence chiefs in the two countries.

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