Britain urges Pakistan to faster action against Mumbai culprits
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Friday pressed Pakistan for rapid action against those behind the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. "Action needs to go further and faster to prosecute those who are arrested by the government in connection with Mumbai attacks," he told reporters in Islamabad after his meetings with the Pakistani leadership, dpa reported.
Miliband, who arrived in Islamabad after completing a three-day visit to India, said his country wanted Pakistan to take action since terrorism originating from its soil, which was hurting not only the entire South Asian region but also the British people.
The two-day visit is part of international efforts to convince the two nuclear-armed neighbours to defuse tensions, heightened since the November 26 gun-and-bomb attacks on India's financial hub that killed 173 people, including 26 foreign nationals.
India alleges Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group masterminded the attacks and has asked Islamabad to extradite the suspects.
"The fact that dastardly terror crimes have been committed in India, therefore the perpetrators must face Indian justice. This is not an either-or situation as these things are not mutually exclusive," Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was quoted as saying by IANS news agency.
Pakistan has outright rejected the demand and insisted that the culprits would be prosecuted and punished according its own laws.
Pakistan's top security official Rehman Malik on Thursday announced that the country had detained 71 people, including at least four LeT commanders, in connection with the Mumbai carnage.
Miliband supported Pakistan's stance, saying he had full confidence in the country's judicial system to carry out fair trial of those behind the deadly siege.
"Prosecution is satisfactory in Pakistan. That prosecution needs to take place," he said.
The visiting envoy held separate meetings with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.
He was also due to meet President Adsif Ali Zardari at a dinner later in the evening.
Qureshi assured Miliband that Pakistan would conduct a transparent probe in the light of information recently provided by New Delhi to bring those responsible to justice.
"Pakistan remains determined to uncover the full facts pertaining to the Mumbai incident," a statement issued by his ministry quoted him as saying.