India condemns Lahore blast; reminds Pakistan about Mumbai justice (Lead)

May 27th, 2009 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) India Wednesday “unequivocally” condemned the bomb blast in Lahore but also made it clear that the ball was in Pakistan’s court to punish the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage if it wanted to resume composite dialogue with New Delhi.
“I feel sorry that an incident has taken place in Lahore… We condemn this attack in Lahore,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here.

“My heart goes out to the people and the families in Lahore … who have lost their lives,” he said.

“We hope Pakistan and India can join hands to fight this spectre of terror,” Krishna said, adding that India is monitoring the situation arising out of the attack.

“I believe there are many casualties. We condemn this attack in Lahore unequivocally… in fact we condemn all terror attacks worldwide,” Krishna told CNN-IBN in an interview.

A car bomb exploded near a police headquarters in the Pakistani city of Lahore early Wednesday, killing at least 23 people and wounding over 100.

The Pakistan government said the blast was in revenge for a military offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley in the northwest region.

Alluding to Pakistan’s calls for resuming composite dialogue that has been stalled after the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks, Krishna said the ball was “in Pakistan’s court” to “set them (bilateral ties) right” by bringing the perpetrators of the carnage to justice.

“We as a country would like to be at peace with Pakistan; 26/11 happened at a time when the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan was moving in a particular direction and we were pleased with the development,” Krishna told the news channel.

“And then suddenly this heinous crime on India was perpetrated,” he added.

Criticising Pakistan’s initial denial about the nationality of the attackers of Mumbai, Krishna underlined that “it will become extremely difficult for India to continue the composite dialogue unless Pakistan brings all those perpetrators of that crime to book.”

In his first comments after being named external affairs minister Saturday, Krishna had reminded Pakistan about honouring its pledge to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism if it wanted to resume dialogue with India.

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