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Asia-pacific

India claims proof of 'official' Pakistan involvement

Video by Carla WESTERHEIDE

Latest update : 2009-03-22

In the latest in a stream of Indian government criticisms of Pakistan since the attacks that killed 165 people, India's government claims it has "overwhelming evidence" of "official" Pakistani involvement in November's militant attacks on Mumbai.

AFP - India's government says it has "overwhelming evidence" that "official agencies" of Pakistan were involved in the Islamist militant attacks on Mumbai that left 165 people dead.
  
Home Minister P. Chidambaram also accused Pakistan in a TV interview to be aired Sunday of doing nothing to dismantle "the infrastructure of terrorism" on its soil amid ongoing tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
  
"Given the overwhelming evidence we have, I am entitled to presume that official agencies (of Pakistan) were involved (in the attacks)," he said, referring to Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency and other bodies.
  
Chidambaram added that the threat faced by India from Pakistan-based Islamist militants remained virtually undiminished.
  
His comments came as security has emerged as a top issue in general elections to be held from April 16 to May 13.
  
They were the latest in a stream of Indian government criticism of Pakistan since the November attacks that killed 165 people, reflecting what analysts say is New Delhi's anger over what it regards as Islamabad's laxness in taking strong action against the planners.
  
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in January that the Mumbai attacks must have had the "support of some official agencies in Pakistan" due to the sophistication of the assault.
  
India has accused the banned Pakistan-based Islamist Lashkar-e-Taiba group of staging the November attacks. Both the LeT and Pakistan have denied involvement while Islamabad has blamed the attacks on "non-state actors".
  
Asked if Pakistan had dismantled the militant infrastructure on its turf, Chidambaram told India's CNN-IBN network that "none" of the militant training camps had been destroyed "to the best of my knowledge".
  
The Pakistanis were only destroying "training camps that mushroom in villages with 'kutcha' (temporary) structures" and "can be dismantled and erected elsewhere," he said.
  
"They (Pakistan) are still attempting to infiltrate people across the border and across the Line of Control (which divides disputed Kashmir), he said.
  
"Therefore, we have put our (security) forces on a high alert between now and the elections."
  
Indian media have been reporting that senior politicians, including Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, could be on a hit-list of Pakistan-based militant groups.
  
The Mumbai siege has derailed a five-year peace process between the South Asian rivals which have fought three wars, two over the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.
  

Date created : 2009-03-22

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