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Pak foreign minister suggests intel-sharing

November 28, 2008 20:50 IST

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Even as India blamed Pakistan-based "elements" for the Mumbai attacks, Islamabad [Images] on Friday proposed setting up of a hotline between intelligence chiefs and national security advisers of the two countries for regular contact and information-sharing to fight terror jointly.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India should not accuse his country for terror attacks till their investigations were complete, and favoured further strengthening of the joint anti-terror mechanism.

"I proposed to let the intelligence chiefs meet... There should be a hotline between the intelligence chiefs and national security advisers of India and Pakistan so that we can share information timely and collectively in dealing with the menace," Qureshi told reporters in New Delhi [Images].

"Let us cooperate and not accuse each other," he said.

His comments came hours after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said "some elements" based in Pakistan are responsible for the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Contending that India is an "important neighbour" for Pakistan, Qureshi said he always advocated friendly co-existence between the two countries and that he has come to India to "build bridges".

"I want to turn the tide from confrontation to cooperation," he said.

Noting that Pakistan is dealing with terrorism on a daily basis, Qureshi said terrorism is not a regional problem but a global phenomenon.

Qureshi said it would be too premature to level allegations against Pakistan as it also has, like India, zero-tolerance towards terrorism.

He said any knee-jerk reaction should be avoided and contended that India had levelled allegations in the Samjautha Express train fire case and today investigations have taken a new turn.

Qureshi was apparently referring to reports suggesting the involvement of Sadhvi Pragya [Images] Singh Thakur in the case.

"It may be that even these (Mumbai terror attack) investigations may take another turn," he said.

Qureshi also said Pakistan condemns the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 150 people in the "strongest possible terms".

The Pakistani foreign minister said if cooperation from ISI is required, the chief of the spy agency will be sent to India to assist the probe.

"Whosoever has done this (Mumbai attack) is neither a friend of Pakistan nor of India," Qureshi said.

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