Call for nations to unite to defeat terrorism

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Indy Politics

Britain and the United States appealed to Indian and Pakistan today to work together in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Following talks in London foreign secretary David Miliband and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said that it was essential that the two regional powers united to defeat the terrorists' threat.

Their comments came amid rising anger in India over reports that the terrorists came from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group which has in the past been linked to Pakistan's ISI intelligence service.

Mr Miliband acknowledged that the killings in Mumbai which left more than 170 dead had imposed new strain on relations between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"Now these are under the greatest possible scrutiny and the greatest possible strain," he said.

"I think it is precisely at this moment of strain and scrutiny that we need very strong statesmanship and leadership so that it is joint action and co-operative action that will make the difference."

Ms Rice added: "Obviously this is a time when everyone in the civilised world needs to unite, not just in condemnation of these terrorist attacks but also in a commitment to be decisive in following up whatever leads there are and in making certain the people who purported these attacks are brought to justice."

Mr Miliband said that developing better relations between India and Pakistan was the "foundation of stability" in the region.

"We know that violent extremism is a threat to the very integrity of both those countries," he said.

"We are determined to do all that we can to work to use our influence to ensure that those who are responsible for those atrocities are brought to justice and that the drive to reconcile India and Pakistan is taken forward."

Indian Foreign Ministry said that it had summoned Pakistan's high commissioner and told him that "elements from Pakistan" had carried out the attacks.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said that it was made clear that India expected that "strong action would be taken against those elements".

Earlier Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari insisted that the attacks were carried out by "non-state actors".

"We don't think the world's great nations and countries can be held hostage by non-state actors," he said in an interview with Arj television.