No pressure on India on troop pullback: US

March 20th, 2009 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The US Thursday denied putting pressure on India to pull back its troops from the Pakistan border in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes.
“There is no pressure at all on India,” a US embassy official told IANS late Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Media reports Thursday spoke of Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon being told by unnamed US officials that New Delhi should take the initiative in reducing tensions on the Pakistan border by lowering troop levels.

Indian officials have pointed out that New Delhi has consistently taken the stand that it was Pakistan - and not India - that had escalated tensions along the border post-26/11 by moving up large numbers of troops.

India, which has said the Mumbai attacks were planned by elements in Pakistan, a charge that Islamabad has partially accepted, says the neighbouring country should shut down the terror network operating from its soil.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee repeated the charge Thursday.

“Terrorists who attack in different places are receiving resources from Pakistan and its infrastructure is being used by them,” he told reporters during election campaign in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district.

India in January submitted a detailed dossier pointing to the involvement of Pakistani elements in the Mumbai attacks.

While admitting that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was planned on its territory, Pakistan submitted a list of 30 questions in response to the Indian dossier. To this India has already responded, even while it has repeatedly asked Islamabad to take “credible action” against the perpetrators of the Nov 26-29, 2008, Mumbai mayhem that killed over 170 people, including 26 foreign nationals.

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