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Mumbai terror attack CAN'T be glossed over: India to Pak

September 08, 2012 22:28 IST

India on Saturday made it clear to Pakistan that the issue of the 2008 Mumbai attacks was still "very much on the table" and the matter cannot be "glossed over".

It asserted that Pakistan must take action to bring to justice the perpetrators of the brazen assault on India's financial hub that left 166 people dead.

"Mumbai is very much on the table and they (Pakistan) will have to take follow-up action on bringing to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crime on Mumbai and on India. India is not going back on that. We are insisting on that at every conceivable occasion," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

Krishna was responding to questions from reporters about his and Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's statement that the relationship between India and Pakistan could not be held hostage by the past.

Asked if the statements could be construed to mean that India was willing to move on from the Mumbai incident, he said, "There is no question of bypassing 26/11. When we said history, we meant the wars that were fought and various other developments. But what happened in the immediate past, we cannot forget it, we cannot gloss over it".

"It is very much on the table," Krishna added, noting that the joint statement issued after his talks with Khar clearly referred to the commitment given by Pakistan in May, during talks between home and interior secretaries, to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice expeditiously.

The joint statement "specifically mentions Mumbai," he said.

"The joint statement is a document and she (Khar) is a signatory to it," he added.

Asked about Pakistan's attempts to equate the Mumbai incident with the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express train, Krishna said Islamabad had been raising this issue just as New Delhi had stressed its concerns about the Mumbai attacks.

Krishna also dispelled the impression that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's possible visit to Pakistan was being linked to the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

"There is an invitation to the prime minister. We are at that point, so the question of any condition does not arise," he said.

Pakistan has arrested seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for planning, financing and facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. However, their trial in an anti-terrorism court has been stalled for over a year due to various technical problems.

Rezaul H Laskar and Priyanka Tikoo In Islamabad
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