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India Accuses Official Agencies in Pakistan of Supporting Mumbai Terror Attacks

By Anjana Pasricha
New Delhi
06 January 2009

India has accused official agencies in Pakistan of backing the deadly terror attacks which killed nearly 170 people in Mumbai in November. The attacks have sharply raised tensions between the South Asian neighbors, as India demands that Pakistan act against militants responsible for the attack, while Islamabad denies involvement.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says investigations by India and other countries indicate that the Islamic militants who mounted the terror attacks in Mumbai did not operate alone. He was speaking Tuesday at a security conference in New Delhi.

"On the basis of the investigations carried out, including the agencies of some foreign countries whose nationals were killed in the attack, there is enough evidence to show that, given the sophistication and military precision of the attack, it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan," Singh said.

Since the attack in Mumbai, India has maintained that the strike was carried out by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Pakistani citizens. But it has refrained from blaming Pakistani authorities for the attack.

But analysts say India is now pointing the finger at Pakistan's spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence, for backing the terror strikes.

Pakistan has strongly denied that any official agency supported the Mumbai attacks, although it has said that "some non-state actors" may be involved.

But India remains unconvinced. Prime Minister Singh also accuses Pakistan of giving sanctuary to terrorists and using what he calls "terrorism as an instrument of state policy."

"The governments in some of our neighboring countries are very fragile in nature," Singh said. "The more fragile a government, the more it tends to act in an irresponsible fashion. Pakistan's responses to our various demarches on terrorist attacks is an obvious example."

The new accusation by the Indian leader comes a day after New Delhi handed Islamabad evidence linking the Mumbai attack to militants in Pakistan.

Analysts say India is getting increasingly frustrated by what it sees as Islamabad's refusal to act against those it blames for carrying out terror strikes in India. Indian officials say Islamabad is in a "mode of denial" and are trying to mount international pressure on Islamabad to hand over suspects named by New Delhi and crack down on terrorist groups in the country.

Pakistan says it will act, if it is given "credible evidence" of involvement by anyone in the country, and says it is looking at what India has provided.

The attacks in Mumbai saw about ten gunmen, who Indian authorities say came by sea, storm five-star hotels, a rail station, a restaurant and a Jewish center. Since the attacks, relations between the nuclear armed neighbors have sharply deteriorated.

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