Britain asks Pakistan to take on LeT ‘frontally’ (Lead)

January 13th, 2009 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownNew Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Britain Tuesday asked Pakistan to take on Laskhar-e-Taiba, the suspected architects of the Mumbai carnage, “frontally and politically” even as India again reminded Islamabad to bring the perpetrators of the terror attacks to justice and honour its anti-terror pledge. “It’s clear where the responsibility for the attack lies. Pakistan has a fundamental responsibility to tackle the roots of this problem,” Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Milliband told reporters after talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“The responsibility of the Pakistan side is something we expect them to fulfill. Those who have been arrested must be brought to justice and, if found guilty, need to be punished,” Milliband replied at a joint press conference when asked about what action Pakistan needs to take in the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage for which India has blamed Pakistan-based elements.

“They need to be taken on politically in a frontal and clear manner,” Milliband, who began his four-day visit to India Tuesday, said when asked about media reports indicating that the banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a public front for LeT, has regrouped under a new banner.

Nearly a month ago, when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited India to express solidarity, he had named the LeT as the perpetrator of the coordinated assaults on Mumbai.

Milliband, however, ruled out the involvement of the Pakistani state in the Mumbai attacks. “I do not believe the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state,” Milliband replied when asked to comment on India’s contention that official agencies of Pakistan were complicit in the Mumbai atrocity.

“It is important to say that. What is also important is the response of the Pakistani government to the LeT,” he said while underlining that Pakistan needs to adopt “a multi-pronged approach” to tackle LeT and terrorism. “It is clear that the Pakistani apparatus have the fundamental responsibility to tackle the roots of this organisation and to develop new strategies for doing so,” Milliband stressed.

Asked about Pakistan’s rejection of India’s demand for handing over the Mumbai suspects to face Indian justice, Mukherjee replied: “Pakistan is obliged to implement all international commitments and resolutions against terrorism. Pakistan as a member of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is required to implement the SAARC convention on terrorism.”

“I do hope that they act on materials and evidence we have given to them and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Mukherjee said.

“I do hope some of the fugitives will be handed over to India,” he added.

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