India steps up diplomatic effort to pressure Pakistan

India Friday stepped up diplomatic efforts and held talks with key Pakistan allies, China and Saudi Arabia, to mount pressure on Islamabad to take action against militants operating from its soil, dpa reported.

New Delhi has blamed Pakistan-based militant Lashkar-e-Taiba for last month's Mumbai attacks that left at least 170 people dead.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee talked by telephone with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and asked China to press Pakistan to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in that country.

During the talks on Thursday night, Mukherjee told Jiechi that Pakistan was not doing enough against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist outrage, Indian government officials said.

Besides China, India also engaged with Pakistan's allies in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal arrived in Delhi for talks with Mukherjee.

Mukherjee impressed on Faisal the need for Saudi Arabia to use its influence on Pakistan to ensure that those behind the Mumbai attacks were brought to justice.

Saudi Arabia has immense leverage with the Pakistani establishment because of the amount of funding it sends, including subsidized amounts of oil.

"In the meeting it was agreed that global terrorism has to be dealt with through joint action by all countries," Mukherjee told reporters after the talks.

"We further agreed that whatever action has to be taken to control terrorism should be taken without delay and in a transparent manner. This is not an issue between India and Pakistan but a global issue," he added.

Faisal called for setting up an international body to fight with the "cancer of terrorism."

"Terrorists want to create conflict between countries. We are urging the UN to create a special body to fight terror," Faisal said.

During the meeting, Indian officials shared evidence of the complicity of elements in Pakistan to the November 26 attacks, the IANS news agency reported quoting official sources.

The Saudi minister, who was on a day-long visit to India, also met with Vice President Hamid Ansari before leaving for Riyadh in the evening.

Relations between India and Pakistan have come under severe strain since the terrorist attacks on the financial hub of Mumbai. At least 173 people, including nine militants, were killed during the 60-hour-long attacks beginning November 26

India halted a bilateral peace process and asked Pakistan to take action against anti-India militants operating from its territories.

Most countries, including the United States and Britain, have backed India's charge that the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attacks.

However, both Pakistan and the LeT have denied involvement in the attacks. Blaming "non-state actors" for the attacks, Pakistan offered cooperation in the investigations, but later said no concrete evidence of Pakistani involvement had been given so far.

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