'Eyewash' says India as Pakistan arrests two

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The Independent Online

Pakistan has confirmed that it has arrested two leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the organisation that India accuses of planning the massacre of civilians in Mumbai, but a senior Indian official said that Pakistan's actions so far were "eyewash".

At the UN in New York, India is demanding that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which it says is the legal face of Lashkar-e-Taiba, should be proscribed as a terrorist organization. It says that the organization has 2,500 offices and 11 seminaries scattered across Pakistan and that its leader Hafiz Mohammed Saeed is also the spiritual leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

For the first time today the Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that two operational commanders of the Jihadi group are being held by Pakistani security. These are Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah.

"They have been detained for investigation," Mr Gilani said. Pakistan says that other operations against Islamic militants are going on in the country but gave no details.

The main Jamaat-ud-Dawa headquarters in Lahore and at Muridke 15 miles north of Lahore remain untouched. A spokesman for the group denied that it had any connection with Lashkar-e-Taiba other than a common origin.

The Pakistani government is trying to walk a fine line by doing enough to satisfy India and the US that it is acting against the perpetrators of Mumbai without at the same time giving the impression to Pakistanis that it is a puppet of Washington.

It is becoming clear that Pakistan has not so far done enough to satisfy India or the US and its actions have been the reverse of transparent as demanded by the US. "This is eyewash," said a senior Indian government official. "We want action that meets our concern. There is no modicum of doubt about the complicity of elements of Pakistan, including the ISI."

With suspicion between Pakistan and India so deep a second terrorist attack in India could push the two countries towards outright military confrontation. This has led concern over reports that 30 terrorists were trained of whom only 10 went to Mumbai, leaving twenty unaccounted for.

"The other 20 were trained to carry out other missions. They did not come to India, they must have gone elsewhere," said Deven Bharti, a deputy police commissioner, in Mumbai.