NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Britain’s Foreign Secretary said on Tuesday that he believed the Pakistan state did not direct the Mumbai attacks, contradicting accusations from the Indian government that state agencies were involved.
“I have said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state and I think it’s important to restate that,” David Miliband told a news conference.
He added that it was clear the attacks originated from Pakistan, and Islamabad had to crack down on the militants operating on its soil, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which has been blamed for the Mumbai attacks.
“We are absolutely clear about the origin of the terrorist attack, and the responsibility that exists in Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Miliband said.
“What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the LeT organization and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LeT organization,” he added.
India has become increasingly frustrated at what it sees as Pakistan’s failure to take strong action against those it blames for the Mumbai attacks, in which 179 people were killed last November.
The attacks revived tension between two nuclear-armed nations that have fought three wars since 1947.
But Miliband praised India for the “maturity” and “wisdom” of its response to the attacks, referring to New Delhi’s decision to respond diplomatically rather than militarily to the attacks.