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Indian defense chief: no plans for military action - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NEW DELHI (AP) – India said Tuesday it was not planning military action against Pakistan in response to the deadly Mumbai attacks but warned that its relationship with its rival would not be «normal» until Islamabad takes action against militants.

Indian authorities have blamed the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the three-day siege that left 164 dead in Mumbai last month.

Pakistan has arrested a senior Lashkar leader who was the suspected mastermind of the attacks and shuttered the offices of a charity linked to Lashkar. Authorities there say they will prosecute anyone allegedly involved in the attacks in their own courts.

But Indian leaders have said the moves are not sufficient and have called on Pakistan to do more to dismantle the terror network they claim is well-established in that country.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony said India was “not planning any military action” against Pakistan but urged Islamabad to crack down on militants thought to be based within its borders.

“Unless Pakistan takes actions against those terrorists who are operating on their soil against India … things will not be normal,” Antony told reporters Tuesday. In the weeks since the Nov. 26 attacks, tensions have been high between India and Pakistan, but India’s prime minister, along with other senior leaders, have said they are not preparing for war.

The attacks killed 26 foreigners, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have visited New Delhi and Islamabad to cool tensions in the region, and to press Pakistan to cooperate in the investigation.

Brown asked for access to the suspects detained in Pakistan during a visit to Islamabad on Sunday. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he turned him down.

According to Gilani’s office, the Pakistani prime minister said in parliament that he told Brown that “if there were any proofs, these persons will be prosecuted under the law of Pakistan.”

Brown also has asked India to let British police question the only gunman captured alive during the Mumbai attacks. India has made no public response.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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